Often Trust is a restricted discussion because of what we think it can mean. Saying “I don’t trust you” seems like character assassination… and it may be… but it may not be. We all know that the wheels will fall off your bus when trust starts to leave a relationship. Let’s first define the kind of trust we’re talking about.
Trusting someone with your life is a different level and type of trust than trusting someone to be on time consistently. Of course there are several levels in between. First we need to define what level of trust you’re talking about because the wild card is that “Perception is Reality”. How people perceive your actions will define whether or not trust has been broken or harmed in some way. The big question is “how will I know when I’ve violated their perception of trust?”
The simple answer is that you need to get the taboo trust topic up on the table where it can be examined in the light. Having these conversations before trust is compromised can save the day. At least two important things happen when this pre-problem conversation occurs.
1. You will create clarity on trust expectations.
2. It now becomes an “OK” team conversation to have.
When I ask teams, couples or individuals if they have talked about trust before there’s a trust issues the answer is almost always “NO”. Consider talking about the three important aspects of trust:
1. Describe to others how you will act when your in your “Trust Flow State” when trust is high.
2. Ask for what you need from them to keep trust levels high.
3. Describe how you may act when trust drops.
Here’s the answers from a senior executive I connected with recently. He said:
1. I’m direct and to the point and assume trust is in place until something happens.
2. I need others to be direct with me and if there’s a trust issue they need to come to me directly and hash it out even if it’s very difficult to do.
3. When my trust drops I avoid people or issues and start work arounds. Doesn’t work very well but sorry to say, that’s what I do.
What are your answers? Is it worth talking to your team about it BEFORE there’s a problem? If your answer is NO, I’d like to hear why.