In this country we have seen the first ever live debate between the three leaders of the political parties and the discussion that commentators are now having is about who ‘won’. What is interesting is that this subsequent discussion is not about the content of what these three men said; it is about who scored the most points, who presented themselves best and who was most convincing.
Whether or not you watched the debate, you know enough about these three people to ask yourself the question, “Who, if any of them, do you trust?” Like many others, you may be thinking that you wouldn’t trust one, two or all of them, that they do not answer a straight question and that what they say is not convincing.
So what would build your trust in them? Would it be what they say or what they look like or their body language or how they carry themselves or a combination of these things? The reason that this question is so important is that these are the leaders of our three main political parties and leaders need to be trusted, whether they are leaders of political parties or leaders of organisations. The level of commitment your staff provide to your organisation is commensurate with their level of trust and how confident they are that they will be treated fairly.
If that bond of trust is broken then damage can be done to the brand of your organisation, which will impact on the overall performance. You may be old enough to remember how a flippant comment by Gerald Ratner, in 1991, destroyed his jewellery company. If you’re not, then read about Gerald on the Internet and you’ll learn how easy it is to destroy the trust of your staff, customers and shareholders. Think about the way that the trust in all politicians has been damaged by the expenses scandal, caused by a minority.
As a coach this really caused me to think, so now go and ask yourself some really difficult questions. Look into the mirror and ask yourself why your staff should trust you. What is it about your appearance, words and behaviour that either enhances or diminishes the amount of trust your staff have in you? Do the values of your organisation instil trust in your customers and shareholders – and do they match the reality of the customer experience?
Just a thought …