The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
– Ernest Hemingway
What makes an organisation work in todays time of uncertainty? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests it is a corporate culture of trust where the leaders make their employees feel secure. When trust exists between employees and management, and more importantly with customers, business will thrive.
I believe to achieve trust, four factors are the most important:
Client focus: People need to understand we not in business only to make money, but actually to help customers achieve results. Money is a by-product of success, not the other way around.
Collaborative: Make your team collaborate, and show customers that you want to work together to reach the best solution.
Transparency: if you want trust, you can not keep secrets from others. One of the buzzwords of President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 was "transparency," as it stresses being open and visible without hidden agendas.
Timeframe: perhaps the most important factor, you need to be thinking about your business in terms of relationships and not simple transactions. Business is not about the next contract. It is about developing a relationship with the customers so they can achieve better results with your help, and then the contracts will come. If you think about your business in a more medium- to long-term perspective, with an on-going, cycle, you are developing a relationship of trust.
Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe
So how can you implement a strategy to build a trust culture in your company? The best approach is a commitment to a few core trust principles:
Capability trust, or allowing people to make decisions, involving them in discussions, and trusting that their opinions and input will be useful.
Contractual trust, or being consistent in terms of keeping agreements and managing expectations.
Communication trust, or sharing information, providing constructive feedback and speaking with good purpose about people.