Trust: A Performance Multiplier

By Lou Solomon

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Research has given us overwhelming evidence that when trust is high within a team and organization, the dividend is a performance multiplier.

Trust is a catalyst through which employees offer ideas, use each other as resources, and learn together. Without trust people assume self-protective, defensive postures that inhibit learning and performance.

A. K. Mishra defines trust as “one’s willingness to be vulnerable to another party” based on the belief that certain elements are present in the relationship: competence, openness, concern, and reliability.

George Brenkert writes “Extended trust requires that firms and individuals expose their vulnerabilities to one another.

Use strengths as a platform

This is the first in a three-part whitepaper on the stories leaders should be able to articulate: Who I Am, Who We Are and Where We Are Going. Leaders build trust by teaching others what their life has taught them; by communicating the strengths that define the organization; and by articulating a vision that uses those strengths as a platform.

When Steve Jobs spoke at the Stanford Commencement Ceremony in 2005, he challenged the graduates to understand not just the facts, but the personal narrative of their lives. He challenged them to pay attention to the events, relationships and experiences that shape them.

Understand the meaningful effects of obstacles, loss, achievements and victories through storytelling

At Interact, we know that your insights, motivation and values are found in the positive and the difficult experiences of your life. We help you articulate the meaningful effects of obstacles, loss, achievements and victories—and identify your stories for use in speeches, presentations, meetings and conversations.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Name a tough obstacle you overcome growing up—and the wisdom your gained.
  2. Tell us about someone who had a positive influence on your life—and what you learned.
  3. Some of the best advice you ever received—who gave it to you, and how it has helped.
  4. A meaningful mistake you made, and the insights you gained.

Your answers to these questions, and your ability to empower others with those answers, go to your leadership.  Staying grounded in your own authenticity will develop trust in your relationships and give you natural authority.



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