5 Trust-Related Tips for Increased Productivity

What are some things that you take for granted? It’s so interesting what you don’t notice until it’s gone.

Perhaps it’s the warm weather of summer you take for granted until it’s replaced by many months of winter.

Perhaps it’s the sound of your children’s laughter as they grow up and then they are off to College or University and the house is oh so very quiet now.

Perhaps it’s the use of your legs that you didn’t even think about until you broke one of them.

Perhaps it’s your health that has been snatched away from you when you weren’t looking.

These are all things that you don’t have a lot of control over – the weather, children getting older, an accident, illness…

This week I was tuned into something I had taken for granted that is controllable.

I’m talking about trust.

The word has come up a lot lately.

I was sharing with one of my clients that we had decided to do a basement reno. It had come up “suddenly” because it had been in the back of our minds to do “when we had time” and it so happened that a contractor friend of ours had a window of time so we jumped at the chance to complete the job.

“It’s easy because we trust him,” I shared with my client.

“And that’s the key,” my client replied. “You trust him. It’s all about trust. When you have someone you trust everything goes smoother.”

When you have someone you trust everything goes smoother.Click To Tweet

I tucked that nugget in the back of my mind, gave myself a little pat on the back because I knew that trust was also why that particular client relationship of mine was going so well, and I moved onto the next thing.

Then I started noticing when trust wasn’t present – a volunteer committee I’m on had gone sideways – new players had conducted themselves in ways that were suspect which threw the whole team dynamic out of whack.

A client hired me to conduct an external audit of their organization so the organization could have an unbiased opinion they could trust, that wasn’t tainted with past history and experiences.

One of my suppliers started missing deadlines and forgetting things which caused me to start paying more attention to their processes and deliverables. I didn’t trust them so much anymore.

Having to pay more attention caused productivity to slow down which aggravated both of us in the process.

I started noticing the speed at which things get done when trust is present on a team or in an organization. One colleague of mine built three – yes, three – websites in one day because his team was working so well together, they could trust each other to do their share of the work.

I recalled a situation, years ago, when I was working on a highly functioning team in a corporate environment. I was speaking with a colleague from another team and my immediate supervisor came in, asked me to do something with very minimal communication and left again. I knew exactly what she wanted me to do and I was able to execute it with ease and accuracy. My colleague looked at me in amazement and said, “Boy, it must be nice to have such a great working relationship with your boss.”

It’s all about trust. She trusted me to get the job done and I knew how far I could take things with her blessing.

Coincidentally, I am currently reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey. Here are 5 things Covey says you can do to build trust on your team, in your organization, and in your life:

  1. Talk StraightAlways tell the truth and honour your word. Being trustworthy and building trust with others starts with you. If you can’t be trusted to do what you say you’re going to do, the whole system will fall down before it has begun.
  2. Demonstrate RespectRemember the “treat others as you want to be treated” verse from the Bible? Well, it turns out it’s a basic tenant in every major religion: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism… I can go on. Respect is based on the principles of respect, fairness, kindness, love and civility. Build your relationships on respect and you will go far – in life, and at work.
  3. Create TransparencyMy Dad, a former radio and television broadcaster, used to always say to me: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” This would often be when a news story was just breaking and the world would be wondering if so and so was telling the truth and if they had something to hide. Well, if it looks like you’re hiding something, you probably are. Be as transparent as you can be and you will be trusted. If you hide pertinent information, you will create an environment of mistrust and your friends and colleagues won’t know when they can trust you.
  4. Right WrongsIf you make a mistake – fix it. It’s not enough to just apologize. Go the extra mile to express your apology with action. Allow yourself to be humbled, admit your mistakes, and make amends. If you just pretend it didn’t happen and not own up, you will be resented and, here’s that word again, not to be trusted.
  5. Extend Trust to OthersNot only must you be trustworthy, but you must also extend trust to others as well. Give your friends, colleagues, and children enough latitude to fail – and to succeed. When you trust others, you empower them and demonstrate you believe they are fully capable of fulfilling on a task. Think about how motivated you are when given room to really shine. Trusting others will allow them to shine too. And they will love you for it.

What would it be like if you could navigate in a world of trust – where you could be trusted and you could trust others? I think you would:

Get more done in less time and have more fun in the process.

What would it be like if you could navigate in a world of trust – where you could be trusted and you could trust others? I think you would: Get more done in less time and have more fun in the process.Click To Tweet

Covey says that high-trust individuals are more likely to be promoted, make more money, receive the best opportunities, and have more fulfilling and joyful relationships.

So, are you a high-trust individual or one that’s costing you and your organization time, money and productivity by not being trustworthy?

How can you be the trusted one this week?

To your success – at home and at work,

Susan Elford

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PR Launchpad Guidebook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a Leadership Coach and PR Strategist who especially loves to work with women who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a full and satisfying life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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