Posted: Thursday, June 29th, 2023

In Ireland, the media is currently engrossed in a controversial corporate governance breach of trust case between the national broadcaster (RTE) and the published payments to one of its top “talents”.

At the heart of this case is a loss of trust between the institution (RTE) and the public and the culture that was allowed to develop under the leadership of its former CEO.

The controversy will no doubt become a case study in corporate governance in Irish Business Schools into the future.

Developing trust is the cornerstone of any relationship whether the connection is personal or professional. It is one of the key skills of people with high emotional intelligence. Building that trust takes time, often years. Loosing that trust can happen with one incident and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to redevelop.

As a coach and facilitator, I am regularly asked for some guidance around developing trust in a professional setting. Indeed, as a coach, I need to build trust with my clients before they will begin to share their challenges and value my intervention.

The following seven actions should help you take the necessary steps to develop trust with any colleague(s) with whom you work…

  1. Live and die by your word. Become famous for your follow through no matter whom you are dealing with every single time.
  2. Create an empowered and autonomous culture in which your team can prosper. Build a habit of “checking in” rather than “checking up” with your colleagues as your approach to staying in touch.
  3. Demonstrate a consistently inclusive approach to how you manage your team and how you facilitate meetings. Understand and appreciate the cognitive diversity that exists in your team and encourage people’s contributions.
  4. Proactively keep your team in the loop on all information relevant and appropriate to them. Any decisions that affect them should be shared and any concerns addressed.
  5. Provide the psychological safety that enables your team to disagree with you and each other but ultimately delivers better plans and results for your unit.
  6. Invest time in actively listening to your team and encouraging their personal and professional development.
  7. Displaying vulnerability. Being ok with not knowing all the answers, being ok being wrong and being ok with saying sorry. Allowing people into your personal life – within reason of course!

Building trust takes time. It is a process, and like any process it needs to be nurtured and refined to match the relationship involved.

Review these seven actions and choose one which you could develop more to enhance any relationship with which you are challenged. If you need to discuss this issue in more detail please DM me and we can arrange a call.