Did you know only 51% of employees have trust and confidence in senior leadership? How about this one…Only 36% of employees believe their leaders are trustworthy – that means 64% don’t! These stats come from Steven M.R. Covey’s best seller The Speed Of Trust, which I recently re-read and highly recommend.
So, have you ever really considered how trustworthy you are? How do you know? What traits come to mind as you think about your trustworthiness?
When I ask clients this question, I often get one-dimensional responses. “My integrity; my ability to be honest; or my character.” When I ask what those things mean to them, the replies tend to be variations of “people know I am honest and fair in my dealings; my team can trust what I say is the truth; or people know I have no hidden agenda – what you see is what you get.” Those are all great characteristics, and important aspects of being trustworthy, but they don’t actually get you to the full-out “I am trustworthy.”
You see, trustworthiness is not as simple as “being honest”. As Mr. Covey detailed in his book, real trust is developed through demonstrating consistency in four critical areas:
- Integrity: You are honest and congruent. Your words match your behaviors. (Character)
- Intent: Your motives and agenda are straightforward, and based on mutual benefit. (Character)
- Capability: Abilities you have that inspire confidence, or, your means to producing results. (Competence)
- Results: Your track record, performance, and ability to get the right things done. (Competence)
If there is an absence, or imbalance, of one or more of those characteristics, guess what? You aren’t as trustworthy as you think you are, and the people around you see it. Ouch!
Today I invite you to go-deep and self-assess your own trustworthiness. None of us is perfect. There are times we can all improve in certain areas. As you self-assess, if you become aware of areas you could do better with, I encourage you to implement some strategies to help you improve on them.
Here are a few questions to help you assess your level of trustworthiness:
- Do I do what I say I am going to do, when I say I will do it? (This includes what you tell yourself you will do…)
- Do I walk my talk? (This includes living up to the same behaviors you expect of others…)
- What are my actual results? Seriously, what are your results?
Increasing your level of trustworthiness will do wonders for your professional and personal life, I promise. If you are a leader and you increase your level of demonstrable, consistent, trustworthiness, you will notice the positive effect on your team, your peers, and even the leaders above you.
Efficiency goes up and costs go down as levels of trust improve. That means YOUR stock value increases exponentially, as you become more trustworthy. So, how trustworthy are you? It’s worth examining.