Trust is the Currency of Growth and Engagement

Trust is everything. Concentrate on it and good things will happen to your growth (development and $) and your engagement of clients and colleagues. Increasingly, I find my work comes down to helping people increase their trust with their clients and suppliers, and of course with their colleagues. 

Without trust, you cost yourself time. How much headspace, watercooler moments and 30 minute chats do you have about people who raise doubts for you? I mean really, how much? I would say in one Partner group I worked with in the UK in a financial services firm, about 70% of the time they had together was hampered by trust issues. They put in huge amounts of effort to step around areas which weren’t “safe” or tiptoeing around each others’ trigger points, and often would lose whole hours talking about certain managers or teams. 

How much do you spend inside your own head doubting and trusting yourself or your ability? I would say a lot more than you think! Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, we let this trust in ourselves dictate our choices.

Without trust you start costing yourself money too. How many things on a weekly basis take re-work because someone hasn’t done what you expected? How much of your time is spent doing things that you can't delegate because you don't trust? How many opportunities with clients or prospective clients have we missed because the trust isn’t there yet? Countless research and case studies back this up (read about them in my new book coming out 2017). Lack of trust creates missed opportunities for growth.

I think trust is a key to understanding so many missed opportunities for growth and engagement. It needs to be measured, constantly. Imagine you had a spirit level to check the balance of a shelf, a little bit off is ok, no lost books off the book shelf. But if it is off, boy do those books come crashing down quick. I see the importance of assessing trust in that same way - when it is out of balance, there is a need to address it. This precedes any development conversation, any growth conversation, any business development.

Do you understand how to keep an eye on this trust? And more than that, do you know how to rebalance it when it is off? Here are a few starters:

1.     Assess the true damage of any mistrust to increase your awareness. Try to move beyond your thoughts towards that person/group/business and towards an assessment of the actual cost e.g. wasted time, wasted money, wasted energy.

2.     Think through the ways that you could address the spirit level and get that bubble between the lines. What could you do (ego aside), what could you say that would reset the balance and enable growth and engagement? 

3.     Take responsibility for balancing trust. No point leaving it, ignoring it and hoping it fixes itself, or even blaming the "other". This wastes your own time and your own growth. Have the conversation.

Remember, difficult conversations are difficult. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen. If you want to find out more about how to have conversations that create change, with your clients or your colleagues, contact me or read more here.

Amy is an expert in communication for influence. Join Silverlinings to get tips and tools for growth and engagement at work. Click for details of programs and download free offers.