Why SHOULD I build trust, anyway…?

A lot has been written – and rightfully so – on the importance of building trust.  Even on this site, I’ve written here and here I’ve written about why it is so important, and how you build it.

Books like Speed of Trust, Trustology and many others give a lot of really good information about why trust is important.  They all give really good insight into trust and why it’s important.

As I sit back and reflect on what that means for leaders, workers, people in general, I realize they probably have a really good question:  “why should I?”  Like, why should I take the time to build trust in relationships at work?  It’s a valid question – because it certainly will take time, and certainly will take a great deal of deliberate attention and work.

So, to the manager (whether first-time, or veteran), who asks this very legitimate question, I share my two simple reasons that you should build trust:

First, it is just the right way to treat people.

Stop and think for a moment -life is about people.  Even the most solitary person among us will rely on people for something.  Work is largely made up of teams, and interactions and communication.  Each person we interact with has their own story, their own perspective, and their own strengths and value.  Behaving with trust and respect is just the right thing to do.

Treat people well.  Trust others.

Cultivating this mindset in your professional life will serve you well – you’ve likely heard the phrase “you reap what you sow”.  There will likely be a time in the future, perhaps totally random and completely unexpected, that a relationship of trust pays some sort of dividend.

Second, it is the best way to get things done.

In our jobs, we all just want to “get stuff done”.  Well, there is very little chance that in your own work, you will be able to get everything done, all the time, by yourself.  You need others.

Leaders learn to effectively ‘contribute through others’.

The bottom line is, people are only going to do stuff if they trust you.  A delegated task, a request for help, etc. will only really be fulfilled if it is laid down on a foundation of trust.

It is very similar to parenting, actually – a kid will respond much more favorably to his/her parent if he/she trusts them.  If the relationship is already in place, requests, discussions, and parental advice will go much more smoothly.

The work place is not that much different.

Trust makes everything smoother.  Trust makes everything easier.

Trust will help us all to “get stuff done”.


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