Archive

Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

May
06

How many of the following are present in your workplace?

Leaders trust their employees

Employees trust their leaders

Team members trust each other

Ethical behavior is rewarded

 

In most workplaces the answer may be “None.” How do we know that? Our global Survey of Workplace Trust continues to reveal trust gaps that should concern every stakeholder.

Trust is always interpersonal and the outcome of principled behavior. The reasons for low trust vary from relationship to relationship and team to team making “one size fits all” box checking impossible. The good news, trust can be a learned competence and need not be “shelved” until the next crisis, only to be used as a talking point with no followup action to support it. Instead, trust can and should be a proactive business strategy that is practiced by leadership and reinforced daily.

This past November I wrote an article for SHRM Executive Network Blog called Hiring for Trust.

Many of our Trust Alliance members including Charles H. Green, Lea Brovedani, Olivia Mathijsen and David Belden were quoted, all subject matter experts in their own right.

As I mentioned in the article… Sadly, most leadership teams and their HR professional staff have never considered the role trust plays in organizational success, beginning with hiring practices. Even sadder, working from home has now further compounded the glaring lack of trust that exists between employees and employers, making hiring even more challenging.

Hiring for trust does not just “happen” and when leadership fails to consider the role trust plays in organizational success, let alone adopt it as a core value of the organization, hiring for trust makes little to no sense. Given this all too common scenario, leaders should be prepared for new employees quickly to become disengaged and to jump ship once they realize that their personal values and those of the organization do not align.

Since the publication of this article, I have been asked numerous times for some “pointers” on the kinds of questions interviewers might ask if trust were, in fact, a core value of their organization. The list of questions provided below are drawn from some of the behaviors in our TAP Framework, the basis for our Workplace Trust Survey, that strengthen or weaken trust in a team.

Thirteen questions to consider asking if hiring for trust

  • How do you feel about telling “white” lies?
  • If you failed at achieving a goal, would you openly and candidly acknowledge it?
  • Do you feel that your values are aligned with the values of this organization? 
  • Can you provide an example of how you have recently acted with integrity in either your personal or professional life?
  • Do you consider yourself a good listener and why? 
  • Are you more competitive or more collaborative?
  • If someone on your team disagrees with you, how do you react?
  • What do you consider your top three character strengths?
  • What would keep you from having open and frank conversations?
  • Is transparency the best option if it compromises kindness?
  • Could you respect a teammate you didn’t trust?
  • Should employees feel safe to fail?
  • What ethical behavioral goals have you set for yourself?

These questions are meant to address specific trust-building behaviors like truth, accountability, purpose and respect, among others. If you are in a hiring role and can’t personally answer them or don’t know the “right” answer, Tap Into Trust for more free resources. Rest assured, if you start incorporating some of these questions into your practices you will be not only be hiring for competence but also for those character traits that build interpersonal trust.

Join over 150,000 global citizens who have accessed our behavioral principles to not only hire for trust, but to strengthen both team and organizational success.

By Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Founder & CEO, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

Have you heard about The “Art” of Trust? It’s our newest tool!

, , , , ,

May
04


What is Integrity? 

It is choosing to do what is right not just what’s regulated or legal.

Integrity is the fourth of *12 behaviors in our Tap Into Trust (TAP) framework having now been accessed over 150,000 times in 16 languages. 

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World created The “Art” of Trust visual “cues” to start a discussion about workplace behaviors that build and weaken stakeholder trust. Together these cues form a “Wall” of Trust, telling a story to enhance learning and retention.

 

In the context of building team and stakeholder trust, we define “Integrity” as follows:

We do what we say – our everyday actions and talk are consistent.

 

To date, over 26% of our 600+ survey respondents identified “integrity” as lacking in their workplace.

Here are two discussion questions our Trust Alliance members suggest to elevate integrity and build workplace trust.

  1. Do we have and post our company’s values?  If so, do we have a system in place whereby employees are invited annually to evaluate leadership’s adherence to its posted company values? 
  2. What are some examples of our failure to act in the best interests of our customers, stakeholders and the public?

 

The “Art” of Trust  is one of many resources designed for our Trust Action Project to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond.

Would you like to build a Wall of Trust for your team? Take the first step.

 

 

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

*TAP INTO TRUST is an acronym. The 12 behaviors are equally weighted. The weakest behaviors break the trust chain.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

, , , , , ,

Apr
13

Copyright 2021 Next Decade, Inc.

 

What role does TRUTH play in the core values and culture of your workplace?

Truth is the first of *12 behaviors in our Tap Into Trust (TAP) framework having now been accessed over 150,000 times in 16 languages. 

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World created these visual “cues” to start a discussion about behaviors in the workplace that build and weaken trust. Together these cues form a “Wall” of Trust, telling a story to enhance learning and retention.

 

 

 

 

 

In the context of a team, we define Truth as follows:

 We are honest & humble. We put the truth ahead of personal or professional gain.

If truth is lacking on your team how do you begin to address it? These are two questions our Trust Alliance members suggest to foster a discussion and improve trust.

  1. Does our organization tolerate or even encourage “white lies” to avoid conflict and produce results? If so, how can we safely bring that out in the open and change it?
  2. Do we put down people who willingly share their truth? If so, how do we create a forum that invites appropriate candor?

 

The “Art” of Trust  is one of many resources designed during our Trust Action Project 2021 to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond. Build a “Wall” of Trust for your team as the first step down the road to trust.

What behaviors do you think impact trust the MOST in teams and organizations? Our 1 minute/1 question AIM Workplace Diagnostic compares your response to more than 600 others.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

Would you like more information about how to purchase The “Art” of Trust? Let us know.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

 

*TAP INTO TRUST is an acronym. The 12 behaviors are equally weighted. The weakest behaviors break the trust chain.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

, , , , ,

Mar
28

The Trust Action Project 2021 (#tap2021) Weekly Action is one of many Trust Alliance resources designed to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond.

 

 

What behaviors do you think impact trust the most in teams and organizations? Our 1 minute/1 question AIM Workplace Diagnostic compares your response to more than 600 others.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

What trust building ACTION would you suggest? Let us know.

 

, , ,

Nov
10

“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.”Warren Bennis

Having counseled leaders across many industries on how to elevate stakeholder trust, I can almost assure you that you won’t come close to passing our 10-question test. Fortunately, the failing grade is usually not due to character or competence flaws, but a lack of understanding of the role of trust as a core value of leadership. Are you willing to take the following test AND the actions required to elevate your results?

*** Warning your degree of honesty and vulnerability may affect your score***

 Give yourself ten points for every “yes” answer.

  1. Do I understand that trust is not a soft skill and that it has tangible value?
  2. Have I thought about what it means to be trustworthy in both my personal and professional life?
  3. Is trust mentioned in my company’s core values and do I practice and reinforce those values daily?
  4. Do I understand that trust is the outcome of principled behavior and have I identified the behavioral weaknesses?
  5. Do I understand that trust cannot be delegated and that low trust is a real risk?
  6. Have I asked my employees and other stakeholders if they think I am trustworthy?
  7. Do I understand that trust is a learned competence, and have I budgeted for trust training for both my leadership team and my staff?
  8. Do I directly engage my employees and my customers in conversations about trust?
  9. Do I catch employees doing something right and reward ethical behavior?
  10. Does trust play a role in my hiring practices?

What was your final  score?

 

Business leaders are constrained by the number of hours in a day, and how they choose to prioritize their time. Many spend it reacting to crises and extinguishing fires caused by low trust. If more leaders not only understood the benefits of high trust, but actually took the steps required to elevate it, their time would be freed up to build a more profitable business much more quickly. Low trust plays a large role in elevating enterprise risk, yet is is widely ignored. Take the questions above and tackle them one at a time. Each 10% improvement will get you closer to high trust.

PS- Don’t fall for expensive trust workarounds that may be offered to you. While they may get you a communications “talking point,” they won’t get you across the enterprise trust finish line. In fact, they won’t even get you close.

 

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.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com or contact us.

 

 

Purchase our books at this link

 

Copyright © 2020 Next Decade, Inc.

 

, , , , , ,

Sep
02

This post is written for my leadership, ethics and Board advisor friends on LinkedIn.

Maybe I’m naive or out of touch. What do you think of this offer?

When I was contacted last week about a position on an advisory board for a new executive education program at a well established university in NJ, the opportunity sounded promising. I would be joining leaders from organizations including Microsoft, Uber and Google, or so I was told in an introductory email. Yesterday I received more details in a phone conversation with the program manager. The call should have ended when the manager could not tell me how she received my name, but I decided to play along for a few more minutes. My one-year “seat” was contingent on two requirements:

  1. A commitment to three ninety-minute on-line evening calls throughout the year, during which Board members would listen to a presentation and give feedback.
  2. An agreement to complete the executive education curriculum itself (16 hours of online learning.) To clarify, I personally didn’t have to be the one to do that. Someone on my staff could be assigned the responsibility. It didn’t really matter as long as the FEE was paid. And what was that fee? For the general public, the program costs $4995 but as a Board member, the fee was discounted 80% to $980. Not only that, but anyone I signed up to complete the program would also be eligible for the same reduced rate.

I tried to stop choking on my coffee long enough to say that I would check with our Council members for some feedback. Before I had a chance to do that, and within 30 minutes, I received a followup email telling me I had been “approved” with a DocuSign term-sheet attached.

Well, I did a sanity check with one of my Council members who suggested I contact the university to discuss the ethics of their “pay to play” Board program. I may just do that. What would you do?

PS- Why the picture of the dog? I lost my buddy of 13 years on Monday. I’d like to think that the week can only get better from here. Let’s see what today brings.

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.

 

 

 

 

, , , ,

Aug
18

Two significant news headlines recently caught my attention:

Why 2020 Will See the Birth of the Trust Economy (World Economic Forum)

Covid-19 Vaccine Push Lacks a Key Ingredient: Trust (Bloomberg) (links below)

Missing from both articles is a 1) A concise definition of trust and 2) a comprehensive solution.

We define trust as the OUTCOME of principled behavior.

Trust is:

  • Always built from the inside out by ethical leaders.
  • It cannot be delegated.
  • It should not be the subject of a PR or marketing campaign.
  • It cannot be measured through external surveys (that is perception of trust)
  • It is not “one size fits all.”

Our global Trust Alliance comprised of business leaders, departmental managers, consultants and scholars worked collaboratively for over a year (2017-18) to identify the primary behaviors driving trust in teams and organizations. These 12 behaviors are our Trust Alliance Principles (TAP) and they have now been accessed, at no cost, over 140,000 times in *16 languages. The weakest behaviors break trust. Administering our AIM Assessment has shown that from team to team and organization to organization, these weak behaviors vary. In other words, elevating trust is not “one size fits all.”

AIM (an acronym for Acknowledge, Identify, Mend) uses the TAP behaviors to identify those that are breaking trust in order to have a starting place to begin a discussion on how to fix them. (We also provide resources to help our clients quickly resolve the primary weaknesses.)

Leaders and managers who acknowledge that trust is critical to organizational success and choose to elevate it to avoid the next expensive crisis, can do so in 3 steps with an inexpensive plan:

  1. Identify what you believe may need fixing by starting with the checklist below.
  2. Take our 1 minute master survey “Building Trust One Principle at a Time” to determine how your answers compare with over 500 respondents.
  3. Administer our AIM Survey to your team and start a trust discussion by holding a workshop.

 

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.

Articles cited:

www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/08/2020-birth-of-the-trust-economy/

www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-17/warp-speed-s-covid-19-vaccine-push-lacks-a-key-ingredient-trust

*Download our principles as a PDF:   EnglishArabicChineseDutchFinnishFrenchGermanHebrewHindiItalianJapanesePortuguese (Brazilian)RomanianRussianSpanish, and Swedish

, , , ,

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.

, , , , ,

Apr
21

While there are no shortcuts to trust, there are many work arounds.  Barbara Brooks Kimmel

In the words of Abraham Lincoln…. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

 

 

 

The same applies to trust. Perhaps now, more than ever, leaders have a responsibility to their stakeholders to stop treating trust like an outcast soft skill, and start approaching low trust as a high risk. Trust is an essential organizational competency with tangible value, just like any other.

How many of these shortcuts to trust have you participated in or taken?

  • Misdefining trust in a way that suits organizational leadership and its advisors. A few examples: brand trust, check the box sustainability/ESG, philanthropy, “feel good” CSR, and blockchain solutions are not trust. Neither is”purpose.”
  • Engaging a “feel good” speaker, rather than holding a trust competency workshop with a trust subject matter expert.
  • Paying to be designated as a “great workplace.”
  • Hiring additional legal and compliance professionals.
  • Creating a marketing campaign based on trust “talk” rather than action.

Unfortunately, not a single one of these costly “perception of trust” shortcuts will elevate trust.

Building a high trust organization is not difficult if trust is acknowledged as the outcome of principled behavior. It simply requires leadership buy-in, a solid trust-building framework, and a destination. High priced trust shortcuts might fool some of the people in the short-term, but in the long-term principled leaders build trust-based organizations from the inside out, not the outside in.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, along with members of its Trust Alliance, offers both online and in-person workshops to help leaders, teams and organizations build their trust competency. These are some samples of recent engagements.

Refer to the list of above and decide which you would rather do, build trust or work around it.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara has consulted with many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, and also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance . She is  the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine.  Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

, ,