Trust Is a Doing Word!

June 29, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Trust is central to healthy relationships, performance and engagement at work. While trust is often hard to define, it is easy to see when trust is absent. Trust is more than a reassuring feeling. Trust is a doing word and is built on trustworthy behaviour i.e. trust is built on trustworthiness.

Like most strategies for improving interpersonal relationships, trust building begins with a long hard look in the mirror. The leader needs to ask themselves if they are secure in the direction they are heading and if their behaviours is aligned to the results they desire. People are more likely to trust those who have clarity of direction and their actions are authentic and aligned to the desired end result.

When it comes to assessing trustworthiness people not only want evidence of honesty integrity and truthfulness, they also want evidence of one’s ability to achieve results. Trustworthiness is a balance between character and competence. In other words people “do trust” via their truthfulness, honest and dependable actions. The saying “who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say” is another good way of highlighting this point.

Integrity is an important issues here. Integrity can be simply viewed as whether you keep the promises you make. A person who operates with integrity is seen as dependable and therefore trustworthy.

Results are equally important. We’ve all worked with the honest person who has the best of intentions but lacks the competence to deliver a dependable quality result. This is a very interesting conversation to have with one of your team members, to say the least.

It is worth considering what are you and the members of your team doing to maintain and build trust?

So many teams I encounter are running on the edge. They are not maintaining the relationship asset, some are even abusing it. Not maintaining the relationship assets on your team is like running your car without any oil. At any moment the slightest hick-up could stop the engine completely or break it for good.

Maintaining trust in a relationship is like maintaining any asset. If you look after the asset with regular maintenance it will continue working well and be there when you need it most. However if you neglect the asset, it will run down and eventually fail… permanently! It’s funny to think that many organisations will put more time and attention to maintaining the company car then they doing into maintaining trusting relationships at work.

Maintaining the relationship asset is not hard when you treat trust as a doing word. In fact you learned most of the behaviours required to maintain the relationship asset in kindergarten. Building and maintaining trust is a relatively simple concept that requires consistent effort to do the little things that matter. These little things add up and form the fabric of trust on your team.

Treat trust as a doing word and you will be sure to do the simple regular actions that build a strong culture of trust on your team.

To find out more about Trust and leadership training in Brisbane, visit

James McNamara from The Impact Factory teaches managers and business owners how to lead from three platforms. Firstly how to lead your team, secondly how to lead your clients and thirdly how to become the local thought leader in your niche.
To find out more about our team leadership training, visit

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