5 Common Trust Breakers

Do you know the common trust pitfalls?

Trust is your organization’s most precious resource. It’s the ultimate currency, fuel, and life force. If leaders don’t inculcate and cultivate trust, they will never generate and celebrate victory! While it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the details of intricate communication, camaraderie, and collaboration strategies, sometimes the easiest way to ensure the existence of trust is to ensure the elimination of trust breakers. In this action article, I will highlight the five common trust breakers.

Trust Breaker #1 - Unethical Behavior.

Without a doubt, unethical behavior is the fastest and most devastating type of trust breaker. When a leader’s character becomes tarnished, his influence will have vanished. A leader’s integrity is the ultimate measure of trustworthiness. We must remember that no leader is exempt from temptation. Often times, enethical and scandalous outcomes stem from compromising situations. Perhaps the saddest part of leaders who get caught up in scandal is the longevity of their actions. When you consider some of these leaders who have fallen in our history, you can testify that it becomes nearly impossible for many of them to ever fully bounce back. While unethical behaviors can, sometimes, be forgiven...they, most always, are never forgotten.

Trust Breaker #2 - Unprofessional Behavior.

Cultural intelligence and sensitivity are essentials for today’s leader. Society has grown increasingly aware and intolerant of abuse, neglect, and carelessness in the workplace...and for good reason! Wise leaders know to use discretion in order to avoid career execution. Actions such as distasteful humor, reckless speech, and innapropriate conduct are surefire ways to destroy your influence, industry, and impact. Don’t sacrifice your future no the altar of foolishness. Trust is always built on credibility and consistency of character.

Trust Breaker #3 - Unreliable Behavior.

While love may cover a multitude of sins, unreliability will overshadow a variety of talents. Too often, high-potential leaders and teammembers are demoted or terminated from their positions due to their deficit of follow through. These well-intended and well-liked individuals struggle with over-extending themselves, making empty promises, and failing to execute on their highest or even simplest tasks. One of the fastest ways to lose trust is to earn the reputation of not being dependable. If you don’t have follow through, no one will follow you!

Trust Breaker #4 - Uncaring Behavior.

Leaders who only focus on business and never attempt to foster relationships will gradually push their people away. The workplace will grow cold, stale, and machine-like. People will feel like cogs in a wheel rather than valued members of a team. Interestingly, research continually reveals that productivity, innovation, and camaraderie improve when leaders and managers make personal investments into the lives of their co-workers and employees. Demonstrating personal care and support can be small but powerful ways to win with others. Failing to do so will only generate gaps and distance among teams.

Trust Breaker #5 - Uninterested Behavior.

In The Art of People, Dave Kerpan writes, “Be interested instead of interesting.” Too often, high-visionary and highly-driven leaders get so wrapped up in their ideas, priorities, and methods, they fail to acknowledge, affirm, or appreciate the voices of their co-workers and employees. When leaders only talk, they serve as social one-way streets. Eventually, people will start taking detours. As Dave Kerpan suggests, in order to truly win with people, leaders must be curious about others - their history, expertise, ideas, and even opinions. By demonstrating openness to the voices of others, leaders help foster trust. By ignoring or resisting the voices of others, leaders shatter trust.

Join the conversation

  • Which trust breaker have you personally experienced in the workplace?

  • Which one can you guard against this week?

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