But ‘trust’ is an odd concept and often difficult to pin down. One of the best explanations comes from Stephen MR Covey in his book, ‘The Speed of Trust’. He defines trust as being built on the perception of two key factors, character and competence. We need to believe the individual has integrity and the character that we can trust. However, this alone is not enough. In order to trust someone, we also need to believe they are competent in the domain we expect them to operate in. I would trust my husband with my life, but not to carry out the brain surgery my life depended on! We therefore might ask if we believe the current policy makers have both character and competence?
The working world is no different. Those in leadership who seek the trust of their people so they will follow the prescribed path through difficult times also need to demonstrate their character and competence.
How do you demonstrate your character?
What do you need to do to communicate competence?
What actions do you need to take to inspire trust?