Working with leadership teams building high TRUST cultures, I hear many different opinions about TRUST.
PwC’s Global Trust Survey in 2016 shows that 55% of CEOs believe lack of TRUST is a threat to their organisation’s growth:
High TRUST Companies report 74% less stress, 40% less burnout, 13% fewer sick days and 29% more satisfaction with their lives … 106% more energy, 76% more engagement and 50% higher productivity.
Does poor communication lead to low TRUST or does low TRUST lead to poor communication? Which comes first?
Some people believe communication comes first
They believe TRUST must be earned and it takes time … like starting out on a first date. TRUST is developed through a gradual set of agreements in a relationship over time … each communication reinforcing and building on that initial foundation. Everything can be sailing along smoothly until … one bad move and all that earned TRUST is lost in a nanosecond!
Without any willingness to restore agreement, a relationship can be lost forever. Once there’s evidence for not trusting someone, people can tend to view that person through a lens of distrust from the past … which impacts each interaction in the present.
What if TRUST comes first?
What if we let go of the notion of ‘earning TRUST’ and consider what neuroscientists have discovered? We now know where TRUST and distrust live in the brain. We now have access to both in the moment. It starts in the moment of contact. We decide in the moment if they are friend or foe.
If we distrust them, we see reality through threats and fear and close-down. Our vision is near sighted. If we TRUST them we see reality more clearly and are more open to engage. We have a longer range inclusive view.
Everything starts with a foundation of TRUST. If TRUST is lost, it can be restored quickly. We can establish an agreement for the future without living under a cloud of distrust from the past.
Expanding your capacity to build a solid foundation of TRUST expands your vision for the future. You can see the big picture. You can learn to navigate uncertainty. You have the ability to alter behaviours that are vital in transforming an organisation into being healthy and thriving.
So … which comes first TRUST or communication?
Neither. TRUST is a function of communication. They arise simultaneously in every moment of conversation. As Founder of Conversational Intelligence® Judith E. Glaser says:
TRUST is the glue that holds an organisation together in the face of enormous challenges.