Each month, Paladin Security publishes the Paladin Pipelines, our internal source #PaladinFamily news and corporate inspiration. In the latest edition, Paladin's Corporate HR Manager, National Quality Standards & Support, Jason Creek shared an article on trust in the workplace. We have re-purposed this inspiring information to share 7 Principles to Ensure Trust in the Workplace.
“I trust you.” Three simple words that can empower you, build you up, and inspire confidence. Often though, people don’t hear this enough, particularly from leaders, mentors, or their managers, let alone from their peers.
On a wall in Facebook’s Head Office there is a poster that says;
Trust = Goal Alignment + Competence
In an article by Medium contributor Simon Cross, he states that; “When someone says ‘I trust you,’ you’re not only telling someone we’re aligned, that we share goals, that we’re playing for the same team – you’re also conveying competence: that you’re good at your job, that I like working with you, that I know you’ll perform well.”
Trust is, of course, both earned and given. It takes time to develop and there are two parties involved. In our employment world, trust must be earned through past accomplishments. Employees need to earn the trust of their supervisors and managers by completing their duties, projects, and assignments. They do not need to be perfect, but there needs to be a demonstrated history of competency. In other words, you must prove that you are worthy to be trusted. To ensure trust within your workplace, follow Cross's 7 Principles, with a touch of the Paladin difference.
- Assume Good Intent: “People tend to value their careers and workplace reputations. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will do the right thing, but you can assume they are trying to do the right thing.”
- Feed People’s Rationality: “Rationality doesn’t occur in a vacuum – it thrives on facts and context.” The responsibility here falls on the leader to make sure that the team has as many facts and context as is possible. “Focusing on providing facts and context means your rational team members have the tools to make good, independent, rational decisions – and that makes them easier to trust.”
- Have Self-Confidence: In order for you to trust someone else you first need to trust yourself. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Walsh
- Failure Has Benefits: One of Paladin’s core values is the belief that “We are not afraid to be bold and try something new.” Nothing great comes without risk. There will be times that we try and fail. So long as we learn from that failure, and become wiser for it, it’s not really a failure. When you trust someone and they succeed, you win. If you trust someone and they fail, experience is gained, the team grows and you still win.
- Set Clear Goals: If we look at the top “trust equation,” goal-alignment is critical. Your goals and those of your team need to align. You need to be on the same page.
- You don’t know everything: No one person knows everything about anything. In order to trust someone, you need to realize that they may know just as much or even more than you do. This is particularly true for managers and supervisors who through their increased experiences have a wide variety of knowledge, but this breadth comes at the cost of depth. For example, the Client Service Manager undoubtedly knows the expectations of their contract, but the Security Officer knows all the ins and outs of the site. It becomes easier to trust once you realize this truth.
- Trust, but verify: It’s only good management to follow up or check in. When you’ve given someone your trust, you need to demonstrate that you do in fact trust them. And that means giving them the freedom to accomplish the task/project or assignment. It does not however, mean that you simply sit back and blindly hope. Checking in and verifying that your team is on track strengthens your trust by allowing you to see that in fact, people are accomplishing what they should be.
Keep in mind too, that Paladin believes that our whole is greater than the sum of our parts. When we succeed, it’s because we succeed as a team. Sometimes we need to let go of our own inhibitions and trust in our peers.
If you don’t feel comfortable trusting someone, find out why not. Look at the above principals and find out if it’s because of something inside you that’s preventing you from trusting that person or if they simply haven’t earned it yet. Either way, you now have some great tools at your disposal to help overcome these barriers in trust. So start breaking them down; empower others around you, build them up inspire confidence in others. I know you can do it, I trust you.