Think of the circle of trust as an emotional bank account – banking good will. Every time we experience mistrust or alienation, if left uncorrected, the goodwill is replaced with bad. The result is wasted energy and growing problems. You now have a circle of mistrust.
Feeding a team’s emotional bank account with goodwill
raises the quality of interaction as well as results.
Trust is relational and is built when you become involved with others. In every interaction, and I stress EVERY INTERACTION, the way you act will build the circle of trust leading to collaboration or the circle of mistrust leading to collusion.
A few years ago, I met a woman who, like me, owned her own business. We decided to pair up and develop accounts together. I opened an account, set the first appointment, and brought her in to the first presentation. By the third meeting, we had to talk to a different director who, after the second meeting with him, began to direct all comments to my colleague. Later she told me that the director had asked her to cut me out entirely and that he would work only with her. I asked her how she would feel if the tables were turned. She understood so together we gave a proposal; he asked for a new price; we came back with a final proposal and a higher price. He was irritated so we ended the deal.
Why did I jinx the deal? He was testing us and was given to collusive behavior. Based on how he treated us and others in business, the changing scenarios of what they wanted every time we met, and issues in his personal life it was clear he was not to be trusted. My emotional bank account was zero because he left me with no goodwill, no trust and no unity.
To build the circle of trust
see others as allies
engage in dialogue
commit to win/win outcomes
To build the circle of mistrust
fail to be trustworthy
see others as adversaries
engage in collusion
default to win/lose outcomes
In my story, the director treated me as his adversary when he went behind my back to talk to my colleague. He tried to collude with her. He moved the deal in the direction of win/lose.
Look around you. Where do you need to eliminate collusive behaviors such as gossip, back-stabbing, blame, incompetence, disregard, disrespect, win/lose behavior?
All of these things create a poor working environment and zap productivity and energy. As a result you will see lots of stress, hurt feelings, wasted effort, wasted time, and poor results.
In order to build high performance teams and high performance organizations,
a leader’s key aim is to build trust and optimism in the environment.