Written By: Angela Fieler, MPA, CMQ/OE, Senior Consultant
Recently, I have noticed that trust, or more accurately, a lack of trust, has become a common theme in the cultural assessments Baird Group has done. I had a conversation about leadership development with a leader in an organization where trust was lacking and she said, “You can’t teach trust.” I countered by saying that I believe trust-building is a skill that can be taught. I am not sure she was convinced, so I have been on the hunt for evidence that it can ever since.
In its May-June 2020 edition, Harvard Business Review published an article in the Managing People section entitled “Begin with Trust: The first step to becoming a genuinely empowering leader.” In the article, the authors, Frances Frei and Anne Morris make the case that leaders build trust by focusing on three core drivers: authenticity, logic, and empathy. Not only do they describe each driver, but they use the image of a three-legged stool and the notion of “wobble” to help individual leaders identify what they need to work on. Frei and Morris also include exercises and examples to help the reader walk through the process. They have certainly packed a lot in eight pages and for my money, they are teaching the reader how to build trust!
From a leadership and organizational culture perspective, the authors make two additional points. First, that traditionally, leadership concepts are often centered around the individual leader’s characteristics, talents, and responses. From their perspective, the essence of leadership is about the people being led and a leader’s ability to create conditions where their people can fully realize their potential. Second, that leaders have to take ownership of their relationships with both their teams and themselves.
Are you taking ownership of both? Have you scheduled a culture assessment to truly understand the level of trust in your organization? Are you willing to participate in one on one coaching with an executive coach to improve your relationship with your team and yourself? Contact us at the Baird Group – trust me, we can help.