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Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Jun
22

 How “safe” is your workplace?

Is honesty encouraged or is “mum” the word?

To date, over 20% of 600+ survey respondents say “Safety” is lacking in their workplace. Is it lacking in yours? 

We certainly hear lots of “buzz” around “speak up” cultures and psychological safety. How often does this translate into action?

Safety is not rule based. It can’t be delegated to EH&S, legal or compliance. Leadership either chooses to embed it into the core values of the organization, model and reinforced it daily, or they do not.

 

Safety is the eleventh 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 recently 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 to enhance learning and retention.

In building team and stakeholder trust, we describe “Safety” as follows:

We call out unethical behavior or corrupt practices – we make it safe to be honest with no fear of reprisal.

Our Trust Alliance members suggest the following discussion questions to elevate safety and build workplace trust.

      1. How do we fix an unsafe culture?
      2. Have we created an environment in which all members of our organization can share honest input?

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.

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Jun
05

I remember speaking with Greg Link when he and Stephen M.R. Covey were writing their book Smart Trust.

And as Bill George said in his testimonial… Nothing is more important than building trust in relationships and in organizations. Trust is the glue that binds us together. Everywhere I go I see a remarkable loss of trust in leaders, and once lost, trust is very hard to regain. I feel this loss is tearing at the fabric of society, as so many people love to blame others for their misfortunes but fail to look in the mirror at themselves.

That was 9 years ago

What has changed? In essence accountable leaders who have assumed responsibility for trust continue to reap the rewards. Sadly only the most enlightened have done so over the past decade. The majority of big business leaders have chosen to follow a highly ineffective route via a check the box trust strategy recommended by their highly compensated advisors. Why? It’s fast, easy and can be delegated. Just attach the word “trust” to the flavor of the day, check the box, and voila! Your communications team now has some great talking points. Brand trust, purpose trust, AI trust, and the latest ESG trust. Who benefits from this approach? Primarily the consultants, speakers, academics and some powerful NGOs who have joined forces in monetizing counterfeit trust. Who loses? Business leaders, employees and most external stakeholders. Simply stated, check the box trust is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It will not get you or your stakeholders to a place of trust. Instead, it will prolong the pain of low trust.

The following is a list of commonly used trust statements and approaches

I have personally heard them all. Can you identify which ones are “smart” trust?

  • We are big business and don’t budget for soft stuff like trust since it doesn’t impact our bottom line.
  • The corporate credo written on the lobby wall has trust covered.
  • We are already trustworthy since our quarterly earnings are growing.
  • We are checking all the ESG boxes and have added ESG experts to our Board of Directors, not to mention the women and other minority members. (That was last year’s misdirected trust advice.)
  • We give to charities and have an annual CSR event.
  • Our employee engagement survey has trust covered.
  • We have a great reputation.
  • We are spending “big” on wellness programs.
  • Our company has received every “Best Places” and “ethics” award.
  • Our communications efforts are focusing on diversity and inclusion.
  • Our compliance department “has trust covered.” We stay just on the “right side” of the law.
  • We always talk about trust as a core value after a crisis.
  • Every year we hire a motivational speaker to deliver an entertaining trust program.

If you answered “None of the above” you are correct. These are all popular, easy and ineffective short-term trust workarounds. And every one of them is a box checking opportunity.

In Smart Trust Covey and Link discuss 5 actions.

  • Choose to believe in trust. …
  • Start with self. …
  • Declare your intent and assume positive intent in others. …
  • Do what you say you’re going to do. …
  • Lead out in extending trust to others.

These actions are a great starting point, and there are many excellent and implementable programs and strategies that will result in smart trust. But don’t expect to know about them if you don’t ask the right questions of the right people. Paradoxically, while trust is more important than ever, those who have the power to elevate it continue to ignore not only those with the expertise, but also the steps required to ensure the trust foundation can support the structure. I call that a win/lose approach.

In the words of Covey and Link  There is a direct connection between trust and prosperity because trust always affects two key inputs to prosperity: speed and cost. In low-trust situations, speed goes down and costs go up because of the many extra steps that suspicions generate in a relationship, whereas two parties that trust each other accomplish things much quicker and, consequently, cheaper. The authors call high trust a “performance multiplier.” High trust creates a dividend, while low trust creates a wasted tax.

And don’t forget, the strength of capitalism is also its weakness.

Regardless of whether you choose to be part of the trust problem or the solution, these are a few indisputable facts:

Trust is the outcome of principled behavior.

Trust is always interpersonal.

Trust takes time to build.

Trust is built in incremental steps.

Trust is built from the inside out, not the outside in.

If leadership isn’t accountable for trust, there is no reason to assume it exists within the organization and you cannot expect it from your stakeholders in return. If you are being counseled on trust make sure those advising you have the expertise to do so. Most are good at the workarounds and smoke screens, but have no knowledge of smart trust. Also, don’t assume that someone who has written a book with the word “trust” in the title is an expert. Again, a few are but most are not.  Don’t buy into the trust “smokescreen.” It will continue to get you nowhere close to a smart trust outcome.

For more information and resources on elevating trust, please visit www.trustacrossamerica.com

Or contact us directly.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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May
25

 

Are you open minded and ready to learn?

Or do you consider yourself the smartest person in the room?

 

 

To date, over 28% of 600+ survey respondents say “Openness” is lacking in their workplace.

Openness is the seventh 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 to enhance learning and retention.

 

In building team and stakeholder trust, we describe “Openness” as follows:

We are open and ready to learn – we can be vulnerable and not have all the answers.

 

Our Trust Alliance members suggest the following discussion questions to elevate notice and build workplace trust.

  1. What are the existing or potential barriers that could prevent open, frank, and necessary conversations?
  2. Do we actively solicit feedback from superiors, peers, and direct reports to be sure we have the whole picture? If not, how can we improve our current feedback solicitation system?

 

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.

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May
11

Do you listen to me? 

Do you care what I have to say?

 

To date, over 32% of 600+ survey respondents say “Notice” is lacking in their workplace.

Notice is the fifth 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 to enhance learning and retention.

 

In building team and stakeholder trust, we define “Notice” as follows:

We seek out and listen to diverse perspectives – every voice can matter.

Our Trust Alliance members suggest the following discussion questions to elevate notice and build workplace trust.

  1. What are concrete examples of ways to acknowledge and appropriately honor opposing opinions?
  2. How can we include all people in feedback rather than having some people feel forgotten?

 

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.

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Apr
23

What makes trust such a complicated subject?

Could it be the simple fact that most conversations that claim to focus on trust are really about something else?

A few weeks ago I listened to three podcasts with “trust” in the title. Two of the guests (not the hosts) were members of our Trust Alliance, while the third was the host, an individual with expertise in both ethics and trust. What could be better than three subject matter expert podcasts in one week about trust?

Throughout these discussions I found myself questioning whether the word “trust” itself was being misused. I was also confused by how the words trust, trusting, trusted and trustworthy were being used interchangeably when they have very different meanings. Bottom line, the podcasts may have had trust in their titles, but the conversations were not about trust, at least not in the way I have come to understand it.

One focused primarily on customer loyalty (some mistakenly call that brand trust), the second was a reputation conversation (trust and reputation are not the same) and the third was about building ethical products that consumers can rely upon. Again, not trust so much as reliability. Yes, trust has certainly become  a “hot” topic, but using the word as a “sexy” placeholder is not only misleading but also adds to the confusion of what trust is and what it is not.

Before we go further let’s look a bit closer at trust and it’s relationship to trustworthiness:

Trust: I explain it in this five minute video with Shona Elliott as an OUTCOME of principled behavior. It’s ALWAYS interpersonal. I have trust in you because you act in a competent, respectful, transparent and accountable manner. You will find me trustworthy for the same reasons. I don’t have trust in Costco, nor do I have trust in AI. I might be a loyal Costco shopper and I might rely on AI to be ethical, but I cannot trust something that is not a “someone.”

In the words of Charles H. Green, a member of both our Trust Alliance and Trust Council “the right way to think about trust is that it is all driven and experienced at the personal level: the role of the organization is to help those personal experiences become trust-positive.”

Organizations don’t build trust, they can only facilitate or hinder interpersonal trust. It’s up to the people who work for them to build the trust, and to be effective, leadership must carry the flag. A trust-based organization is one in which people behave in a trusting and trustworthy manner towards each other, and towards all stakeholders. At the organizational level if trust is not a function of leadership, any trust-building initiatives will be ineffective. Trust is built over time and in incremental steps through principled behavior that benefits all stakeholders, both internal and external. Organizational trust-building is most effective when it begins with its most valuable stakeholders, the employees.

Trustworthiness: Also an outcome. A person can be called trustworthy if they display principled behavior as described above. Trustworthiness can also apply to companies and brands based on attributes, not behaviors.

  • Trustworthiness at the corporate level: attributes like good governance, ethical accounting practices and financial stability enhance the reputation of the organization.
  • Trustworthiness at the brand level: attributes like quality, price, features, availability and customer service build customer loyalty.

So how can we alleviate the confusion about what trust is and what it is not.

It’s pretty simple. Make sure everyone understands and agrees on the discussion topic up front, and then be very deliberate about using the right words. Every conversation and every article about trust should begin with this question. What’s trust got to do with it? And if we are in fact talking about trust, let’s start the conversation by putting it in context.

A few examples of how to do this:

  • A podcast about the Edelman Trust Barometer findings that “trust in business leaders is up.”

To put this discussion in context the people engaged in it should address the question of “Trust in business leaders to do what?” Treat their employees well, take a stand on social issues, protect their shareholders, care about the environment? Then we can have a conversation about trust within the chosen specific context.

  • An article about recent data showing that less than half of Americans trust pharmaceutical companies.

Again, one must ask “Trust pharmaceutical companies to do what?” Have good customer service, develop products that improve rather than worsen health, pay less fines than last year, or treat their shareholders well? Identify the discussion topics early and then stick with them.

If trust is always put in its proper context the cloud of confusion begins to lift and the discussion becomes much more understandable and worthwhile.

You may also start to notice how often trust is used as a placeholder for something else, usually it’s reputation and often perception of trust, not trust itself. While I was writing this article I came across this “poster child” for a misleading trust statement from a new article on Forbes, written by a Forbes “Council” member. I see examples of poor usage of the word “trust” almost daily.

The simple truth is that people buy from brands and products they trust, and the ultimate objective of a content strategy is to create a trusted brand or product.

That’s actually not the “simple” truth at all as people often buy brands for reasons like convenience, price and even a coupon, or as an impulse purchase.  And notice how the author uses both the word “trust” and the word “trusted in the same sentence. Which one is it? And, by the way, content strategy doesn’t create a trusted brand, only people can do that. Sorry, this author’s statement, and many others like it, are meaningless and just add to the “noise” and trust confusion.

Trust discussions can be simple or complicated. It all depends on whether time is taken to clarify what, if anything, trust “has to do with it.” Try it next time trust enters your conversation.

Please visit Trust Across America-Trust Around the World to find out more about our work and our growing global community.

Don’t forget to check out our latest (and coolest) tool, The “Art” of Trust.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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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.

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Apr
06

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

Start a trust discussion and enhance learning and retention with the visual cues that will be presented each week for the next 12 weeks. Be one of the first to build a “Wall” of Trust.

 

 

The 12 behaviors of our popular Tap Into Trust (TAP) framework, comprise the “Art” of Trust. TAP has been accessed over 150,000 times.

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.

 

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Mar
21

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.

 

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Mar
14

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 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.

 

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Feb
21

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

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

What’s weakening trust on your team or in your organization? Take our 1 minute/1 question AIM workplace survey.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

How would you like to get involved? Let us know.

 

 

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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