Apr
06

Aug
04

Having studied and observed trust building and trust busting behavior for over ten years, what’s crystal clear is that when people trust you, their confidence in you will increase, and they will be more inclined to do business with you.

 

 

LinkedIn claims to have more than 700 million users in 200 countries, and the platform can be a very powerful business tool, IF your goal is to build trust with your connections. The following are ten tips on how to do this.

  1. Begin with a clearly defined “ethics based” LinkedIn strategy, with the focus being your connections not you.
  2. Communicate authentically. Your values, beliefs and principles must align with your actions.
  3. Become the “go to” person in your area of expertise by publishing well-written original thought leadership pieces rather than announcing your next podcast or speaking engagement.
  4. Every post should represent added value to your readers or be solutions based.
  5. Share relevant, high quality content, even if it is from a competitor. Shine a spotlight on valuable material, regardless of who wrote it.
  6. Remain humble. Don’t tell your audience how “honored” or “humbled” you are while promoting your upcoming gig or your most recent award. That’s just insincere self-interest.
  7. Before publishing your next post answer this question: “Who cares (other than you and your mother)?”
  8. Engage your audience by asking them for input and feedback, and be sure to acknowledge every response.
  9. In this age of rapidly evolving social “activism” pick your photo captions carefully. For example, does your photo show a room full of men with no female presence? Does it just show you?
  10. You are the company you keep. Make sure the posts you are “liking” reflect positively on your values. (And instead of simply “liking” a post, leave a thoughtful comment.)

And now for a few surefire ways to bust trust really fast…

  1. Connecting with the sole purpose of selling something to your “prospect”
  2. Pretending in your initial connection request that you have something (undefined) in common.
  3. Immediately upon connecting, filling the recipient’s inbox with all sorts of “stuff” about how great you are.
  4. Having a profile that screams “amateur”: Words and phrases like guru, influencer, disruptor, rebel, world-renowned, life coach, Lion, Forbes and Inc. contributor… and best-selling author.
  5. Same goes for credentials- fake PhD’s and questionable experience are easy to spot and even easier to verify.
  6. Being a bragger about your latest upcoming “gig” and then having all your friends say “Congrats!”
  7. Ignoring comments, or better yet, deleting them if you disagree or think they might take the attention away from you.
  8. Trolling LinkedIn and inciting controversy.
  9. Showing zero interest in getting to know your new connections, even when they message you.
  10. Adding your LI connections to your mailing list without permission.

Having been an active LinkedIn member for many years, the balance is shifting away from thought leadership towards billboard advertising. If this is accurate, LinkedIn will surely (and quickly) lose its stature as a valuable business tool. In fact, I’ve spent the past several months deleting hundreds of self-promoting LinkedIn connections.

In summary, if the focus is simply “You,” maybe it’s time to rethink your LinkedIn strategy. Start by making “trust building” your core focus.

What other suggestions do you have for building trust on LinkedIn? Leave your comments.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

Copyright 2020 Next Decade, Inc.

PS- Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Jul
28

Our 7th Trust Alliance Lunch & Learn was held on July 23rd when we convened nine members to discuss trust and trustworthiness. This one-page presentation summarizes our findings, providing both Essential Steps and Additional Considerations for those interested in further exploring the role trust plays in organizational success.

Join the Alliance to participate in our next event on August 6th at noon.

 

Jul
14

Regardless of your occupation, job title, or the type of organization that employs you, have you ever considered the role trust plays in leadership, team and organizational success?

And are you helping to build (or deplete) your organization’s trust bank account?

 

 

If you haven’t given any or much thought to these questions, you certainly are not alone. In fact, most people view trust as a soft skill that can simply be taken for granted. But consider this for a moment; there has never been a more critical time to acknowledge and embrace the business case for trust.* In fact, study after study confirms that over the long-term, high trust organizations outperform their low trust competitors, with the following benefits:

  • Elevated employee engagement and retention
  • Reduced workplace stress
  • Enhanced decision-making
  • Innovative culture
  • More accountability, transparency and communication
  • Reduced costs

Using our definition of Trust as “an OUTCOME of principled behavior,” what we knew about the benefits of high trust in the past is currently amplified in our current business environment. Often, it takes a crisis to remind us what happens when trust is ignored or taken for granted.

Whether you are working in person or remotely, these are some characteristics of a high trust workplace environment. How many are currently present in yours?

  • Energy, motivation and engagement
  • Easy to hire and onboard new employees
  • Fun and laughter
  • High confidence, creativity and risk taking
  • Thriving innovation and productivity
  • Team alignment, sharing of information and credit, and quick forgiveness
  • Accountability and transparency as the norm
  • Willingness to be vulnerable and open, speak freely, and to listen
  • Positive team-building behaviors including gratitude, empathy and candor
  • A strong sense of “community” and shared values

How many of the following signs of low trust are present in your workplace? 

  • Lack of transparency
  • Distortions of truth
  • Disrespect
  • Hidden agendas
  • Poor communication
  • Low accountability
  • Short-term thinking
  • Inconsistent talk and actions

Leaders who ACKNOWLEDGE that low trust is a tangible risk have taken the first step in building a trust based team and/or workplace. And acknowledgement remains the greatest obstacle in most organizations as it requires direct leadership attention and input, and some degree of vulnerability. If this hurdle can be overcome, then it simply becomes a matter of IDENTIFYING the personal and interpersonal strengths and weakness that are either building trust or busting it. They can then be discussed, MENDED and tracked. Our Trust Across America program calls this AIM Towards Trust, and the tool is being easily adopted by enlightened leaders of teams and in organizations of all sizes and across industries, providing a path forward to high trust.

If a long term approach to elevating trust is not a leadership imperative at this time, all is not lost. Here are a few short-term ideas that any team can implement during the current crisis.

  • Consider hiring or appointing a remote-workforce manager.
  • If you didn’t already have one, a crisis-continuity plan should be created.
  • Be clear about all expected outcomes with the focus on results rather than hours worked.
  • Ensure that all team members have a line of sight between the goal of the company and his or her personal contribution in getting to the goal post.
  • Have frequent touch points with your team about work-related matters and also about personal needs. It’s critical not to overlook your employee’s mental health during these difficult times.
  • Establish a buddy system for new employees.
  • Get your workforce up to speed with technology, but don’t over invest in it or view it as a quick and easy trust “fix.” Set aside some of that budget to learn how to build trust. It may be a little more work but will produce much great rewards over the long-term.
  • Access our Trust Alliance Principles for additional ideas and remember the weakest behaviors break the trust chain. (Over 140,000 global professionals already have.)

Which organizations will emerge the strongest from COVID-19? Probably those whose leaders chose to place trust in the center of their business strategy before March 2020. In fact, leaders and their organizations who banked trust in advance of the pandemic are now being handsomely rewarded and will continue to be long into the future. It’s never too late to start thinking about the role of trust in leadership, team and organizational success. Why not today?

*To receive a copy of our two-page Business Case for Trust, please contact us.

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 11th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across industries and with many Fortune 500 CEOs. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

Copyright 2020 Next Decade, Inc.

Jun
30

Today we conclude our 2020 Trust Insights series. Should you ever choose to think about the role trust plays on your team or in your organization, start by answering the question “Trust to do what?” and then consider the following:

 

 

 

  • All leaders and their team members must take ownership and be proactive about trust. Trust must first be well defined, never taken for granted or only talked about after a crisis. More on this subject at this link.
  • Trust is an outcome of principled behavior on the part of all leaders and team members. Access our Trust Alliance Principles to learn more. The weakest behaviors break the trust chain.
  • Leadership effectiveness should be evaluated by the internal environment of trust that has been created and maintained. Learn how you can evaluate it.
  • Trust cannot be regulated or delegated to a “department.” Without shared values that foster a culture of trust, leaders defer to legal and compliance to enforce rules. Read “Trust: Going Beyond Compliance & Ethics.”
  • No organization is sustainable without a foundation of trust, and there are no shortcuts.
  • Trust in leadership and among teams cannot be measured by public opinion polls. Don’t confuse external “perception of trust” surveys with internal surveys of trust.
  • A company cannot create authentic brand trust without first building trust internally.
  • If you are a leader who is not willing to personally do the work to build trust, don’t talk about it as if you are. Read “Ten One Liners for the Low Trust Leader.”
  • The only way to build trust is to behave your way into it. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to trust, and there are many work arounds.
  • Ignoring trust as an intentional business strategy presents enormous enterprise risk. The benefits of high trust are too numerous to ignore.

I hope you have enjoyed our 26-week Trust Insights series.

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to over 500 others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

Jun
23

Trust Across America is pleased to announce the results of its annual study of the trustworthiness of America’s largest public companies. For more information contact Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO.

Jun
16

Given the right tools, trust can be measured. Barbara Brooks Kimmel

For decades, the external advisors to senior business leaders have counseled them to measure and evaluate every action according to return on investment. In recent years, box checking has become increasingly popular as well. Have you met your quota for women on boards? Are you decreasing your carbon footprint? Diversity and inclusion? Check. Advisory firms love to build new boxes to keep themselves in business. Last year’s box was “Purpose” and this year it is ESG. Imagine the year that the “trust” box becomes the box of choice. If you need proof that a business case for trust exists, please request it by sending an email to: info@trustacrossamerica.com

The following is a simple starting point to measure whether your employees trust you and trust each other. Ask them to count the behaviors below that are present in your organization.

  • High energy, motivation and engagement
  • Easy to hire and onboard new employees
  • Fun and laughter
  • High confidence, creativity and risk taking
  • Thriving innovation and productivity
  • Team alignment, sharing of information and credit, and quick forgiveness
  • Accountability and transparency as the norm
  • Willingness to be vulnerable and open, speak freely, and to listen
  • Positive team-building behaviors including gratitude, empathy and candor
  • A strong sense of “community” and shared values

Now ask them to identify how many of the following are present.  

  • Low energy, low productivity and burnout
  • High employee turnover and excessive use of sick days
  • Difficulty recruiting new employees
  • Too much focus on risk, rules and regulations 
  • Low innovation
  • No sharing of information and resistance to ideas
  • Lack of respect and passive/aggressive behavior
  • Resignation and cynicism
  • Finger-pointing, water cooler talk and lots of judgment
  • Cordial hypocrisy

Subtract the second number from the first to arrive at your trust baseline score.

Let’s say hypothetically your employees identify 5 positive trust behaviors and 5 negative. (5-5=0). Your trust score is zero. Don’t expect much employee engagement, innovation or risk taking.

Or your employees identify 8 positive behaviors from the first list and 2 negative from the second (8-2=6). Six is better than zero.

Or 2 posItive and 8 negative (2-8= -6). Not a place ANYONE wants to work. (And that “trust” box certainly can’t be checked.)

Our AIM Towards Trust survey tool has been used in dozens of teams and organizations to measure trust, start the trust discussion and fix what’s broken. The proactive and ethical business leaders who have adopted these tools can now check that trust box with confidence.

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to 500 others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

Jun
09

Building trust in policing requires both trustworthy and collaborative community leadership and teamwork.  Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Police chiefs are not solely responsible for building trust with their communities. They are part of a team.  Just like a large corporation, the police department represents only one silo in the organization. They happen to also be the group subject to the most community exposure. In other words, it’s harder for the police department to hide behind a veil of secrecy, especially in cases involving misconduct, as we have recently witnessed. If you believe in the saying “The fish rots from the head,” you would be hard pressed to find an untrustworthy police chief working as part of a well-functioning team alongside a trustworthy mayor.

The following is taken from a recently updated report written by Trust Across America called Building Trust in Community Leadership, and originally published in 2013. It provides insights from top subject matter experts with whom we have worked over the years.

At a minimum….

The following are quick guiding principles in building and maintaining trust for community leaders:

Mayor

Public confidence in the integrity of elected officials is the cornerstone of our democratic representative system of governance.  As the highest-ranking elected official of its municipal town or city, the Office of the Mayor is charged with the trust, wellbeing, security, and prosperity of its citizens and community.  The Office of the Mayor should perform its responsibilities with the highest sense of ethical leadership, integrity and competence.  Each Mayor’s Office should develop, implement and monitor a set of Guiding Principles of Integrity that is tailored to its unique mandate and responsibilities. Donna C. Boehme, Compliance Strategists

(This short news clip provides a timely example of a Mayor who is talking about fortifying trust between community, police and local government.) Thanks Mayor Terry Short!

Town Manager

Today more than half of U.S. cities with a population of more than 10,000—and an increasing number of counties—are run by a combination of appointed professional administrators and elected officials. 

Trust is both the foundation and result of ethical leadership, and the manager must seek to create trust between himself and (1) the municipal employees, (2) his elected board, and (3) the community.  He can only do this one-day at a time as he sets examples for all other employees to follow, and public policy for the elected board to adopt.  His decisions on hiring, promotions, municipal services, and public policy must begin with transparency, and reflect his unbiased opinions on how municipalities provide public services to its citizens. David L. Woglom, Lafayette College

Chief of Police

An trustworthy policing leader creates and maintains a comprehensive values-based risk-management program that:

    1. Is based on clear, practical, effective and fair policies and practices to identify, prevent and detect illegal, unethical and unprofessional conduct.
    2. Assures that, if improper conduct occurs, prompt and appropriate remedial actions are taken to prevent future misconduct and to protect and enhance the agency’s credibility and reputation.   Michael Josephson, Josephson Institute

Head of Emergency Management

In emergency management the single most important issue that comes up again and again is the need for individual relationships to be in place before there is a disaster.  The criticality of these personal connections cannot be over emphasized.  One illustrative mantra that is shared is this, “If you see people exchanging business cards at the scene of an incident; you know it won’t go well.”

In reality while it sounds like relationships are key, the real shortfall that dooms projects, programs and regional efforts is a lack of trust between the individual players.  Trust then is the ultimate goal and how you get there is a critical path to be followed.  Eric Holdeman, Eric Holdeman & Associates

Superintendent of Schools

Few would argue that our education system must transform if we are to truly serve the needs of our students into the future. Now more than ever, the foundation for an educational leader’s strength comes from their trustworthiness and their ability to build trust among others.  Trust is no longer assumed based on position and credentials, but rather must be built based on the quality of relationships.  This requires a shift in leadership approach from one of command and control to one of collaboration.  Susan Mazza

To obtain a copy of the complete 17- page report including trust-building action plans for the job functions mentioned above, as well as other community leaders, please click here.

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to hundreds of others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

Jun
02

With the right mindset (and tools) leaders can build trust in a new work environment.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel

Over the past few months, members of our Trust Alliance have participated in a series of Lunch & Learns. Our global membership crosses every organizational silo and we rarely view organizational trust through the same lens. Sharing our cultural perspectives and trust expertise has elevated our understanding of the nuances of this increasingly relevant and timely topic.

Working from home is just one of many “new” realities facing business leaders during this pandemic. These realities have exposed the lack of leadership acknowledgement of the role trust plays in organizational success. Now more than ever leaders MUST develop intentional trust-building strategies that are internally driven.

So once again, we reached out to our Alliance members, asking for their perspective on the trust challenges leaders should be addressing right now, and any examples of those who are stepping up to meet them.

Leaders Must Extend Trust to their Employees

According to David Belden, one of the most transformational aspects of the pandemic is the transition of the workforce to remote functioning. In working with over 400 companies for the past 22 years, the major hindrance in this transformation has been a lack of trust from leadership towards employees. Companies have traditionally felt that if they could not directly monitor their workforce, the work would not get done.

The current crisis has forced a change in that view. The results have been nothing less than astounding. In recent surveys, over 70%  reported that, given the choice, they would continue to work remotely. Concurrently, companies are reporting an unexpected increase in productivity.

 There are two critical aspects for a successful transition to remote work:

  1. Absolute clarity regarding the expected outcome. The focus has to be on outcome/results rather than hours worked.
  2. Line of sight on the part of the employee between the goal of the company and his or her personal contribution in attaining that goal.

When these two prerequisites are met, the company has to trust that the employee will fulfill their agreed upon duties. The employee must trust that the company will act in the best interests of all of the stakeholders, particularly the employees. Without mutual trust, this new arrangement will not succeed.

Trustworthiness is a 2-way street with the leader and the team adds Kevin McCarthy. COVID19 is a tough shift in every aspect of our lives and lifestyles. Such times reveal us–particularly our varying personal health conditions, risk profiles and preferences.  Leaders who acknowledge and respect these differences may honor them by providing team members, where practical, a transitional period to continue to work from home or return to the workplace as each person sees fit. Likewise, willing, but financially disincentivized,  team members drawing unemployment compensation greater than or equal to their pay can do their civic duty by returning to the workforce for the common good of their co-workers, company, and country.

Elevating Trust Requires Acknowledging Uncertainty

Bart Alexander reminds leaders that crises often result in debilitating uncertainty.  By saying “It’s too early, we just don’t know,” organizations reinforce collective and individual stress, even panic.  Companies can translate uncertainty into manageable  risk by openly sharing their best judgement, as in, “This is the worst case, this is the best case, and this is the most likely case, and if anything changes, you’ll be the first to know.”  Adding the probability of each scenario will help all to be on the same page and begin to prepare.  Open solicitation of ideas on how to best adapt further engages the entire organization into a shared future.

And Lea Brovedani supports these sentiments and provides an example. Leaders should be acknowledging uncertainty and showing their own humanity. They should tell what they know, what they don’t know and still take action. At this time, they need to model the duality of feeling uncertain and showing how to keep moving forward.

The first business leader that comes to mind is Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive who instructed people to work from home well before most other companies. He acknowledged feeling uncertain and worried, talking about his son who has cerebral palsy and the worries he and his wife have.

Here is a quote from an article written in the Seattle Times:

Nadella gave the interview shortly before releasing a lengthy email to his more than 140,000 employees worldwide, applauding them for their response to the pandemic and urging them to do the best they can to help others on a personal and professional level...

Nadella said in his email that Microsoft is in a position to help slow the pandemic by demonstrating leadership in the face of adversity and maximizing the company’s biggest strength — bringing people, ideas and solutions together quickly through tech. He mentioned the company’s work to bring “trusted news and facts” about COVID-19 to LinkedIn members and on Bing, while working with Facebook, Google and Twitter to bring “authoritative content” to those platforms and “combat fraud and misinformation about the virus.

Trust Will be Predicated on Employee Engagement

Ben Boyd recently wrote an article called “The COVID case for stakeholder capitalism – and the elevated role of corporate communications.” He had this to say about employees and the future of engagement. Employees have shown incredible resiliency, enduring extraordinary and ongoing change. Their continued engagement and commitment are critical to meeting the future needs and demands of the business; however, their expectations have changed over these past four months. Developing programs to engage, motivate, reassure and rebuild an organization’s workforce must be a top priority. Key questions to consider are: How will you address employees’ most basic needs related to personal safety and company hygiene? Moving toward the “next normal,” how will you assess employees’ evolving needs and expectations to ensure your leaders are authentically and empathetically connecting with the workforce?    

And finally my thoughts. Business leaders have many tough decisions ahead of them. Hopefully they also have the skill set to engage their employees to help make them. Our current climate of fear has revealed just how much leaders in all societal institutions have taken trust for granted.  In business, not only do employees fear for their physical and emotional safety, but also for the future of their jobs. In other words, they don’t trust their employers to keep them safe. Perhaps it’s the emotional element of trust (some call it benevolence) that are even more critical now in allaying those fears. Hard skills like leadership competence are no longer sufficient. In fact, they haven’t ever been. Emotional intelligence, an ethical mindset and empathy are the “soft” skills that build trust. Who returns to work and how to manage social distancing are the easy problems, and the ones that most C-Suite advisors will tackle first. They will also be the ones that are promoted in stakeholder communications. And if the emotional elements that have created the “fear” are not  given equal weight, then we will simply return to the pre pandemic levels of low employee engagement and increasingly challenging mental health issues, while sitting six feet apart.  Those “hard” decisions are the ones that will continue to separate authentic trustworthy leaders from all others. For the rest, it will be business as “usual” with a few minor and inconvenient adjustments that are the easiest to communicate.

 

Before you leave, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to hundreds of others. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust Insights? Access them at this link.

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly:

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

May
26

Leadership ultimately comes down to creating conditions of trust within an organization.

Colin Powell

 

 

 

In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s Trust Insight comes courtesy of Colin Powell. During this brief and concise video, Powell discusses the role trust plays in leadership:

Powell’s timeless “rules” of leadership were first printed in the August 13, 1989 issue of Parade magazine and are reproduced below.

13 Rules of Leadership

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

 

Please stop by our website for additional organizational trust resources, or schedule a call to learn how we can help elevate trust in your leadership team and among employees in your organization.

Did you know that over 137,000 global professionals have Tapped into Trust? Have you?

 

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

May
19

If you don’t own trust, don’t expect others to own it either. Barbara Brooks Kimmel

 

 

 

 

I was recently asked to lend a bit of trust subject matter expertise at a webinar hosted by Navex Global. Several polls were conducted during the program. In the chart below, 420 respondents selected who they thought had primary responsibility for organizational trust.

Do you agree?

 

 

If you would like to learn more about who owns trust, please click on this recent Human Synergistics/ Culture University article, Creating a High Trust Culture: Who is Responsible?

Please stop by our website for additional resources, or schedule a call to learn how we can help elevate trust in your leadership team and among employees in your organization.

Did you know that over 136,000 global professionals have Tapped into Trust? Have you?

 

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.