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In the ‘Algemeen Dagblad’ (a Dutch newspaper) of September 14th, there is an interview with Nout Wellink, the former president of the Dutch Central Bank. The headline of the article is ‘There will definitely be a new crisis.’ My attention was immediately drawn, so I read the article. (For the interested, read the article here).

When asked about the cause of the 2008 crisis, he talks about the post-war years, where people borrowed ‘on a large scale ‘from’ the future.’ “Throughout that time, there was an unwavering trust that tomorrow would always be better than today.” That trust made us undertake, invest, and especially borrow to realize all our dreams. The famous trees grew to the sky.

Further in the article, he mentions that, above all, it was a lack of trust during this period of crisis. “Markets dry up, people withdraw their savings from the bank, banks no longer dare to lend each other money. The realization sets in that we have lived on credit. Anyone who needs money can no longer get it. As a result, everything comes to a halt…”

Two times the word ‘trust’ is in the spotlight. With two times an enormous impact.

The Great Impact of Trust

Kan je je voorstellen dat het ook zo werkt binnen je gezin, vriendenkring, team, bedrijf? Dat vertrouwen een enorme impact heeft?

Een voorbeeld: Stel je kind van 6 vraagt herhaaldelijk of hij een nieuwe step krijgt. Een iedere keer zeg jij “nee, daar hebben we nu geen centjes voor.” (Of een andere reden.) Een dag later kom je met een tas thuis met daarin je nieuw verworven trui. Dit proces herh

Can you imagine that it also works like this within your family, circle of friends, team, or company? That trust has an enormous impact?

  • An example: Imagine your 6-year-old repeatedly asks if he can get a new step. Each time you say, “No, we don’t have the money for that now.” (Or another reason.) A day later, you come home with a bag containing your newly acquired sweater. This process repeats a few times. What implicit message does your child get? ‘That what you say is not entirely true.’ And the next time you give a reason for something? The answer is predictable. The certainty with which the child will debate with you is also evident. Your child no longer believes you and provides a counterargument, sprinkled with proof that you have enough money. The trust of your child in your sincerity has taken a hit.
  • Another example: You promise Karin that you will submit the research results tomorrow. But you don’t make it. It’s two days later. This happens quite often. The next time you promise something, she doesn’t believe you anymore. Your reliability has taken a significant blow. And now you need something by Friday. What are the chances of getting it on time?
  • Or: Harmen submits the translation to you. It’s on time, but it’s full of mistakes, just like last time. What will you do? Check everything. (You know that colleague whose work you double-check?) Checking causes annoyance, takes time, and therefore costs money. Here, too, it’s about trust. And here, too, the impact is significant. Effectiveness goes down, and efficiency is under pressure.

Now these are small and probably quite familiar examples. You can imagine that the impact increases as examples accumulate.

If trust is low within your team, people will interact with each other less frequently, share less, share less knowledge, start doing things themselves, start checking each other’s work, and so on.

Have you ever calculated how much money/potential this is costing your team? Or the company? I challenge you to listen carefully to your colleagues’ statements. (“I don’t believe in that anymore!” “Them? They are never on time!” “They will never succeed.”) Or to observe closely. (Do they talk to each other? Or do they send an email, with a cc to a few important stakeholders?) How is the trust within your team? How much joy, time, and money is there to gain for you?

The good news is that you can build trust. You can restore it if it’s no longer there. You can increase it, making your team run like a well-oiled machine again.

The 4 Cores and 13 Behaviors of Trust

Stephen MR Covey has conducted a lot of research on the impact of trust and has explored why some leaders are more trusted than others. His findings are documented in the book ‘The Speed of Trust.’ Among other things, he writes about 4 cores and 13 behaviors.

He mentions that trust consists of 4 cores: integrity, intent, capability, and results. All 4 must be present to be trusted. Just think about it; you have set a goal and stick to it (integrity); you are very good at something (capability), and you have achieved a lot of results (results), but your intent is to score/earn as much as possible at my expense… What are the chances that I want to collaborate with you in a project; that I trust you?

Then Stephen states that you can build, increase, or restore trust through 13 behaviors. He has derived these behaviors from many leaders who were perceived as reliable worldwide. By naming these 13 behaviors, trust and working on trust suddenly become tangible. It becomes something you can work on. We can discuss how things are between you and me. Which of my behaviors undermines trust in our collaboration? And which behavior can you work on to improve trust in our relationship?

Do you want to know more about trust and its impact on your team or within your company? Feel free to contact me without obligation.

In the meantime, try to keep your appointments, give honest answers, and correct your own mistakes. Then you are on the right track. 😉

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