Blog: Tryst with 'Trust'

Leadership

Tryst with 'Trust'

Trust takes years to build, seconds to repair and forever to repair.
Tryst with 'Trust'

As we cross each stage in our life, we would have read or heard about this quote "Trust takes years to build, seconds to repair and forever to repair". There stands a strong reason to believe and internalize this thought. This attains paramount pertinence in today's age when the world is talking about millennials and baby boomers; trade without borders; Glocalization of workforce etc.

A child trusts its parents & siblings and gets the courage to stand up, walk and jump, without the fear of falling down. A bride trusts her immediate family and the prospective groom's family when she ties the nuptial knot. A soldier trusts his nation when he is there at the border, guarding and fighting, keeping his life at risk. Citizens trust politicians during an election and cast the magical vote to bring them in power. A skydiver trusts the guide as he takes the plunge into the open air knowing zero details about the nuances of skydiving. These are all few examples of how trust is key to learn; grow; cast out fears and most importantly stands out as the premise for each decision we take in life. I placed my full trust on the goodwill and credentials of the doctor when my wife went through a tough phase during her delivery and I was given a choice that I could save either the mother or the child. By god's grace my trust paid off and the doctor could save both the lives.

Narrowing our focus to the corporate life, we all are leading, trust is so very much the essence and the DNA which binds an organization together. Without this element of trust, all other parameters like culture, work ethics, financials, growth etc, lose their meaning. As an individual, We trust our supervisors and vice versa. As employees of a company, we trust the executive leadership and vice versa. As a department, we trust other departments and vice versa. Through our entire 9-10 hours in the office and beyond, we knowingly or unknowingly, work and feel secure, owing to this trust factor.

As leaders, it is so very important for us to "lead with trust" if we are to get the best out of our teams. All other measurements and targets will follow anyways, no two ways about it. Doubtful leaders mellow down the self-confidence of their teams and this creates a clog in the wheel of team performance. The onus is on us, as leaders, to stand tall and be true to our teams. Trust is like a glue which binds broken parts and helps retain originality in relationships. All of us, as individuals, teams and companies will go through rough patches and will need to take tough decisions. It is not about what decision is taken, but it's the intention of that decision, which gets questions and raises eyebrows. This inherently is the 'trust factor' which can make or break a decision. As employees and also as leaders, we got to be cognizant of this aspect. When companies merge, more than the financials of it, the trust and value system congruence drives the decision. As they say ' trusting you is my decision, proving me right is your choice'. Trust transcends organizational structure and design, cuts across hierarchies and defines the ethos in an organization.

Can trust be measured?

Well, there is a problem if we start quantifying all aspects. If we put our heads together, am sure we can come up with a survey/formula/algorithm to measure but do we actually want to get to this? This is an aspect, which works beyond board room presentations and is that strong spine which an organization needs to wade through rough waters and maintain sanity during the chaos. Trust reinforces openness, fosters diverse ideas and enables transparency.

Well, there is a problem if we start quantifying all aspects. If we put our heads together, am sure we can come up with a survey/formula/algorithm to measure but do we actually want to get to this? This is an aspect, which works beyond board room presentations and is that strong spine which an organization needs to wade through rough waters and maintain sanity during the chaos. Trust reinforces openness, fosters diverse ideas and enables transparency.

The Trust-Competence Model

Through the below model, I have tried to capture and explain the aspect of trust and its linkage with team competence. All of us, in our capacities, should aim to create a culture where trust is fostered, bolstered and will stand the test of time.

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Topics: Leadership, Life @ Work

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