Does Your Team Trust You?

By Tiffany Chepul


At the last Fortune Growth Summit in Las Vegas, Stephen M.R. Covey presented on his book The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything.  It got me thinking about the CEOs I coach - do they each have the full trust of their team?  And, if they don’t, how difficult will it be to implement the Rockefeller Habits?

If you think about the meaty work that happens during a Strategic Thinking, Annual Planning or Quarterly Planning Session, how does trust impact the quality of the output of those sessions?  My guess is, tremendously!  For example, if you didn't trust your CEO, would you feel confident that after identifying Core Values he would be accountable to them?

Below are the 13 Behaviors from Covey that you can do to build trust with your team:

1. Talk Straight.  Don't put your spin on everything.  Use facts, be honest and use simple language.

2.  Demonstrate Respect.  Show that you genuinely care for others.  Show kindness and don't fake it.

3.  Create Transparency.  Don't hide information or have hidden agendas.  What you see is what you get.  If you can't be transparent about something for legal reasons, tell people that.

4.  Right Wrongs.  Apologize and make things right when you are wrong.  Avoid coverups and justifying wrongs.

5.  Show Loyalty.  Don't take credit for things that aren't yours.  Talk about everyone as though they are in the room.  Always check your intent before speaking of others.

6.  Deliver results.  Do what you say you will do.  Be on time and on budget.  Don't make excuses for not delivering.

7.  Get better.  Always look for ways to improve yourself and increase your capability.  Be open to feedback and thank people for it. Don't rest on your laurels.

8.  Confront Reality.  Very close to Jim Collins' Face the Brutal Facts.  Take issues head-on and don't avoid "undiscussables."  Don't operate in denial.

9.  Clarify Expectations.  Don't assume expectations are clear; explain and clarify upfront.  Don't violate them once established.

10. Practice Accountability.  Hold yourself accountable first, then others.  Take responsibility and "own up."

11. Listen First.  Similar to Mark Goulston, M.D.'s Just Listen, take time to actively listen before speaking or offering your own opinions.  Don't assume you have all the answers.

12. Keep Commitments.  Do what you say you will.  Make commitments carefully and then keep them.

13.  Extend Trust.  You have to give to get.  Demonstrate that you trust others (once earned) and extend your trust based on the situation.

A team that trusts one another, as well as their leader, will build a culture of focus and accountability. They will also set clear expectations and execute faster than teams that lack trust.  

Do you feel trust is accelerating or hindering your team right now?  Instead of looking back with blame, what can you do going forward to right the ship? 


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Tiffany Chepul


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