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Earning trust the other way

We learn from an early age that to earn trust; you need to show you’re trustworthy. It is earned over time. But is this always the case? What if there was another way to build it between people?

Trust forms the greatest part of any business’s success. However, there are many cases where a business leader has come into a company and seemingly turned it around over-night

How have they achieved that?

They haven’t physically turned around the company themselves; they’ve relied on the people under them. Nor have they spent years earning the trust of those people – they only just turned up.

Meet Laura

Let’s give our new CEO a name: Laura.

To turn the company around, Laura is going to need to motivate the team and get them to meet ever-increasingly difficult targets. They’ll need to trust that she knows what she’s doing. They are also aware that some pain is coming their way and need to trust that this is for the greater good.

That’s a lot of trust to put in someone they’ve only just met.

Looking at the ‘Trust Equation’, we can see where some of this has come from:

  • Credibility – she’s done a similar job before (why else has she been brought in?), so there is no reason to think she can’t do it again.
  • Reliability – Laura is a specialist and has a reputation to maintain; I think we can depend on her to deliver.
  • Intimacy – she only just turned up; do you really trust her enough to tell all your dark secrets?
  • Self-orientation – Laura came into the job with an exit plan; turning things around will look great on her CV. That’s a lot of self-orientation.

Looking at these factors, I’d tend towards not trusting Laura, at least not enough to go through all that pain.

So how do people like Laura do it?

For more article’s on trust, read The Trust Equation

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