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There is no doubt that trust is broken in most organizations. If you doubt the validity of this statement, here’s a quick test.

  1. Do you look forward to getting up and going to work in the morning? Now ask the person sitting next to you the same question.
  2. What was the level of employee turnover in your organization in 2014?
  3. Do you like your boss, or does he like himself more? When was the last time he/she spoke TO you instead of AT you?
  4. Has trust as a “business imperative” ever been discussed at a staff meeting?
  5. Can you list the three most important values in your organization?

Get the picture? The good news…. if leadership hasn’t woken up to the value of trust, appoint yourself as the Chief Trust Officer today, start instilling some trust in your organization, and chances are, you will like your job more by the end of 2015. Your colleagues will thank you and maybe your boss will wake up too! It’s a win/win for all.

Late last year we published the 3rd book in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. It’s called TRUST Inc. 52 Weeks of Activities and Inspirations to Build Workplace Trust . We also published a year-end companion poster with 52 ways to increase organizational trust, as recommended by some of the world’s leading experts, and members of our Trust Alliance.

The first activity can be completed in less than one hour. It’s called “Listening for Leaders” and was written by Charles H. Green, one of the world’s foremost authorities on trust-based relationships.

This is a brief introduction to the activity:

Objective: Concretely demonstrate to leaders a way of interacting with others that increases influence through empathetic listening.

Requirements: 3 persons, each with a particular “difficult client/colleague” situation.

30 – 40 minutes elapsed time.

Can be done in multiples of three persons, with a strong facilitator

Process overview: The exercise is done in three iterations. Each of the three gets a chance to role-play:

Person A. a difficult client of their own

Person B. an advisor or follower of the difficult client/colleague

Person C. an observer

Each iteration proceeds as:

a. 60 seconds for the “client/colleague” person to describe the situation – out of role character

b. 4 minutes for the role-play – in character

c. 3 minutes debrief, led by the observer

This activity also includes Notes to Facilitators, Debrief Instructions & a Wrap Up.

Interesting idea?  It’s the first of 52. Get the book, print the poster and hang it on your wall. Start your new career as the Chief Trust Officer in your organization today. There’s no reason to wait for the boss to do it. I dare you!

If you need help along the way, visit our website for free resources on building organizational trust. We can even recommend a local expert to visit and share their expertise.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

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