Trust, the Foundation of all Relationships & Organizations


Trust is a key component to any relationship, church, business, or organization. Therefore, it should be understood that a leader’s ability to build trust is key to any organization. People will not stay at an organization where trust is absent or lacking. Fifty-nine percent of respondents to one study stated they had left at least one organization due to trust issues. Those negative numbers are growing.

A more recent study showed only seven percent of respondents trust their supervisors/organizations were looking out for the individual’s best interest. This could be one’s perspective of individual desires or it could be leaders placing organizations’ goals above employee safety, health, and welfare. Whatever the reason, a lack of trust is growing in volunteer as well as employment organizations.

One of the major reasons for lack of trust is always communication. Lack of healthy communication will always breed distrust. Where there is a lack of trust there will also be discontentment, low morale as well as high turnover. Untrustworthy leaders always rob an organization (church, business, team) of its best people.

You, like me, have likely served in an organization where people were put in positions of leadership without the needed skills to effectively lead a team to produce desired results. Usually, when this happens and morale begins to wane, levels of bureaucracy are initiated. With each new level of bureaucracy more people exit the organization. Knowledge can be passed on, trust can be built, but without the development of skills on the part of leadership, the first two will fall flat for the organization.

What does trust-building (and maintaining) require? As stated above, open honest communication is high on the list. Consistency in organizational structure and operations is perhaps a close second. Are operational procedures carried out equally across all levels of employment?

The story is told of IBM’s CEO walking from one building to another with a group of his executives being denied entrance because he did not have his security name badge. All the other executives had theirs, but the security person at the gate refused to let the unbadged man in. The executives immediately came to his defense, even sharing with the security guard, “He’s the CEO, he can fire you on the spot.”

It was the CEO that stopped their defense saying, “No, he’s right. That is the policy.” The entire arty of executives waited outside the gate until someone retrieved the CEO’s name badge from his office. The CEO commended the Security officer for doing his job well. This is building trust throughout all levels of an organization.

Trust is the foundation of all nourishing and wholesome relationships. At home, work, and every team on which you serve, how well are you doing at building healthy trust within your circles of influence?

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