Do you really need to earn trust?

There is an age old expression that has outlived so many that I really disagree with…. ‘you need to earn trust’.

I don’t know about you but I prefer to see the good in others, empower them and have full trust in them upfront. Each time I manage a new team one of the first thing I say to them is ‘You all have my full trust upfront. I hand it to you on a silver platter. I believe in you all and you have my support’.

Empowerment goes a long way for someone’s mindset and ability to believe in themselves and achieve greatness. Doubting them upfront by them having to earn your trust is almost like guilty till proven innocent. Don’t expect the worse from someone or expect that they will do something wrong or even take advantage of you. If that happens, worry about it then and resolve it. 

I’ve come across so many processes within companies that have been created due to lack of trust. Don’t get me wrong, risk and compliance is important and there are some things that need to be taken very seriously and skill needs to be demonstrated before authority is given but trust is something different. Knowing 100% what the outcome will be is rare so trust yourself first and make a judgment call. You need the balance between trusting and empowering those around you and having respect for each other.

Ask yourself these 5 simple risk assessment questions:

  1. What is the worst thing that could possibly happen?
  2. What are the repercussions of this happening?
  3. Can I minimise these repercussions?
  4. Are the repercussions really that bad?
  5. What’s the worst thing that could possible happen if I choose not to make this decision or trust this person?

Then reverse the situation:

  1. What is the best thing that could happen if I do this?
  2. What will the outcome be?
  3. Who will benefit from it?
  4. Is the gain worth it?
  5. What is the best thing that could possible happen if I choose to make this decision or trust this person?

Empowerment starts with you and will flow through your teams. Don’t let getting burnt once from trusting someone tarnish every other situation. We need to weigh up each situation, do the risk assessment and try giving the benefit of the doubt and spreading empowerment.

Always create processes expecting that everyone will do their job and the best they possible can. If they don’t work, make sure you understand the core problem and fix that rather than creating workarounds.

Empower those around you and watch them flourish! Not only will you change your outlook on others but you will change their outlook on you.



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