When teammates trust their leaders, they feel more comfortable participating in their work environment. Individual contributors can communicate more effectively, uninhibited by feelings of doubt or suspicion. As leaders, we have a responsibility to demonstrate transparency and evoke a sense of mutual respect within our teams. As you’ll hear, the way we behave and interact with others is crucial to developing a culture that is founded on accountability and credibility.
Why is it important to build and maintain trust? We're going to dive into that topic in today's episode. Hello, my name is Zee and I'm rich, Hazy. So are you excited about going to the Thayer leadership training? I am, and it's this week I actually fly out to New York City tomorrow to enjoy the city a few days before the training next week.
Believe it or not, my first time going to the city. Third time in New York. First time going New York City. So I'm excited to try some food. I'm going to see a Broadway show jumping and enjoy that. And ironically enough, I just got back from PTO last week, and this is why I'm wearing the shirt. I'm still in that vacation mode.
Picture myself in the beach, enjoying some sun. But it's interesting, though, that during my time off and coming up and enjoying New York is that a lot of times we think of PTO is something we have to do, use it or lose it by know, this is my story. Maybe you have your own, but you know, there goes a year and then you realize, oh my gosh, I have a lot of time I need to use up.
So you kind of force it. You just throw something on the calendar and maybe you're working and all this stuff. And I said, you know what? No, I have to be purposeful in scheduling this out in advance, putting time on the calendar, letting my team know, preparing them while I'm out. And more importantly, like, what's my intent going into this, you know, purposeful time off?
Is it to relax? Is it to disconnect? Is it to enjoy nature, spending time with loved ones or just unplug? I mean, there's so many reasons why you would. And that's what I learned, you know, during this time off. And now going to enjoy in New York again purposeful. What am I do? I am going to enjoy the city.
I'm going to find things that I've always wanted to do, tick off my bucket list and be and just soak it in. But that's it. But you know what? That can't happen unless you trust your team, you trust your partners, you trust that everything's going to be fine when you get back and that is that is going to be key.
And that's what we're going to talk about today. Yeah. So there was a few things you said in there that I want to touch on. So the first is purpose purposeful. I love that, you know, being purposeful with anything you do, right, whether that's taking time off, you know, being present in that moment, whether you're, you know, working on an activity, being purposeful in that activity, just being present in that moment.
Right. Second, the whole trust thing, you know, you mentioned preparing your team for being off. You know that right there is actually what today's episode is about trust building and maintaining trust. But before we dive into that, you know, last episode we talked about who should be who can be a leader, You know, what it means to be a leader.
And the the illustration that you gave us with the final and the janitor, Oh, that was that was an amazing story. And by the way, if you missed that, you want to go back and check that last episode. It was amazing episode. So, yeah, now, you know, again, I we're we're getting, you know, a lot of we're building upon these episodes.
And I think, you know, again, we're being purposeful of what will be a good episode a follow the previous one, what is relevant, what is topical in 100% right? Like right now we're at a stage where a lot of folks that are listening, first of all want to know, hey, should I be? I'm curious, am I a leader?
But then the next thing is, let's say you finally get to that stage of like, yes, I want I am a leader or I want to go into leadership. I want to take on all the responsibility. But it's something I'm passionate about that I want to do while the next thing is like, okay, first of all, while you're in leadership, you have to set that foundation of trust.
This is something that I think we take for granted. You know, it's one of those things that when it's there, it's it's there, right? It's like you, you know, some using analogy analogy of water when it's abundant, you know, people use it freely. They don't they don't they don't notice it. It's there. It's great. Everything's blossoming and flourishing.
But when it's not there, that's when people notice. And notice that it's not it's not present, right? It's a drought, lack of it, what have you. Things don't grow, they don't flourish. And it's it's it's not a good situation in that applies that in your work environment and as a leader you have a big, big responsibility but also a big impact when it comes to setting that foundation of trust and building it and maintaining it.
So it's a nice transition into that saying, okay, great, now what are you doing regarding trust within your team? Yeah, absolutely. And trust is such a key foundational piece, right? You know, something to build off of. You can kind of you can tell in those teams that have that trust, you know, the way they gel, you know, even even, you know, just looking at sports teams.
Right. You can tell the team the trust. You know, you pass the ball, you trust that the other person is going to do what they need to do and take care of, take care of business. Right. So, I mean, that's a great example. 100%. Yeah. You know, you think about those successful teams and, you know, you follow by follow your favorite sport, or if it's not a sport, it can apply to anything, you know, your team, your organizational team.
But also, if you think about performing arts, I'm going to go to Broadway, right? There's got to be trust within the cast members that everybody's going to have their line hit their marks. And even even if somebody makes a mistake, someone's going to have their back. They're going to pick it back up. They're going to keep moving forward, and they're not going to let it just drop and be like, you know what, Rich is struggling right now.
I got them. I'm jumping right in. I'm going to build him up. Right. I think that's what we did, too, in our podcast. As we're going, we're like, okay, you know, I feel like we're kind of losing it or whatever. I'm going to bring it back in. And we kind of we we start to know each other, right?
We start to feel one of those areas that keep things moving. So yeah, that's, that's 100%. So I don't know, I think the way to start off is maybe defining it maybe 1% and what is trust? Yeah, Yeah. So let me ask you first before I give you my definition and I feel like stuff that you. Yeah, how would you define trust?
Trust. So trust is something that, you know, you, you definitely have to be consistent with. You have to keep coming to the table and showing, you know, showing up every single day. You can't just do it when you tell somebody to do something once, twice, three times, you trust in them that they do it each time. And whether they do it, whether they deliver on that, that's kind of the key piece right there.
Keep showing up, keep coming back to the table. That in my opinion, that's that's how I define trust. And I think you're spot on. Yeah, it's one of those things that a lot of people will say, hey, I just I trust everybody. I give it freely. But there are layers. There are levels. And to your point, when it's a solid foundation in a relationship and a partnership or what have you, it's build over time that's always talked about, Hey, building trust, right?
It's the actions you take, the consistency. Are you there when you say you're going to be there, are you going to how are you going to do what you promised you're going to do? And that really the definition for me, it's definitely it's the confidence that is build over time with somebody is credibility, meaning that they're competent and they're also somebody that has good character.
So the things that you're doing are doing it because you're doing it for the greater good, for a relationship, for whatever you know, you have good morals, values, you also have good intent. You're doing it to help out. You're doing it to help grow or meet that goal. And in the last part, as a competencies, you know what you're doing.
You know, if you're going to be a leader, you have to be kind know that you're competent. Hey, I know how to manage a team, how to deliver results, how to get things done, and that just starts to build that solid foundation where now your team starts to come to you and, you know, hey, when I when I'm going to talk to Rich and I have a problem or I'm dealing with something, I know that he's going to try to help me or listen instead of trying to critique me, put me down, judge me, whatever.
Right. And that's going to actually be the opposite. You're going to, you know, lose trust quickly. Yeah. And I'm glad you mentioned that as well. So you you we and we discussed this again in a few episodes back about the soft skills. Right. You mentioned the critiquing and things like that. No, it wouldn't. When when we have these conversations, we listen first as a person.
Right. And that's so important, especially in that foundation, just to build even build trust. Right. You want to know that somebody cares about you as a person in order to, you know, really, truly trust them. Like there's no ulterior motives. There's nothing you know, it's it's genuine because the opposite of trust, suspicion, if you start to be like, what?
What's the agenda, You know, trying to get out of this. Let me go back to what you said and then you said this already last time and you said it again. And I want it's interesting when you when I hear the words soft skills, right. It's the word in context. You know, we kind of take it when I hear someone say, hey, you know, you didn't develop your soft skills.
I feel like sometimes people see that and they go, Oh, it's secondary. It's not a hard skill. It's not something that you, you know, take serious or it's like an afterthought. I like to think of soft skills as like real life skills. These are the skills that give for good, like get left or get up. You know, they're they're to their left for granted or they're people just kind of put it by the wayside.
But if you think about it, people that have those skills that advance a lot more, they have stronger relationships. They're able to have those really difficult conversations. They're more comfortable in those spaces where folks that don't and take it for ideas really focus on my heart skills, whatever those technical skills, all that. But I can't have a communication with somebody.
I can sound like, Oh, oh, real life skills, man, let's go, let's go, you know, and that's where I think that's going to help. If you work on that, you'll build that trust. So a couple of things. So we defined it. I think the way to start building that trust is you had to do it from the inside out.
And like I said earlier, as yet there have to be somebody credible, somebody that people can trust and only you know that, you know, you got to check in with yourself. Am I giving people somebody to trust in my they're my dependable, Am I speaking truth? Am I here's a here's a tough one. Am I owning up to my mistakes and not only owning up to it and making the corrections and adjusting the things I need to do for the future so they don't replicate or happen again.
So I don't know you. What are your thoughts about that? But I thought that right there when it comes to Yeah, yeah, no, I like that. And I like the whole credibility credibility piece, right. Because as I mentioned before, you know, you, you do something once. Okay, fine. You do it consistently time and time and time again. That's where it starts to build on itself.
And that's how you can really tell, you know, can I trust this person or is this like, you know, do I give them something, a task, a deal? Like do I do I put this responsibility on them and they'll get it done. Maybe 50% of the time you're holding your breath like, oh, I hope they get it done.
I hope they do it. So yeah. And that's it. That's it, That's it. I'm not going to say it's easy. It's definitely going to take time. It's going to take practice. It's going to take you willing to let this go. And it's not easy, man. And you know, we're now talking about, okay, so we defined it and now we're going into how do I start building or building against really inside out?
Am I giving somebody to trust? So think about this as well. When somebody approaches you for something or ask for help or needs help, are you saying no, I can't help? No can do that. No. But you're are doing it because, you know, whatever reason, either you're giving them a reason. So like if you say, Hey Z, I need help with this, I'm going to be out.
Nope, can't can do it. I'm busy in that building. Trust. It's more like you're kind of like, Whoa, I can rely on these always has. No, I only want to ask them anymore. But if you say, Hey, can you help me? I'm like, You know what? What they're looking at again? What exactly do you need help with? What are the.
Okay, you know. Yeah, I could totally do that. Or you know what? I can't. But guess what? Tony and from the team can help out or whatever, right? You're offering or you're engaging in the problem solving for that individual and you truly, genuinely care. And they're there moments that you can't even help them. Yeah, but are you truly you've made the effort you engage in Lean in.
Well, we're so busy in with our work that we just. Yeah, no get sorry shutting it down. So that's the first one. So one of credibility. Another one in a kind of complements that is you have to start depositing into or you have to get to know your team if you're a leader and you're not, if you're not having first of all, frequent one on ones, we call them connections here if you're not getting to know them.
Besides just going into those connections and saying that you do that, you do it, are you on target? What's your deadlines of all this stuff? Right? The business. But you're not taking the time to get to know them during those meetings. Hey, how you doing? How are the kids? Did you you know, were you able to build that pergola you're working on?
How is your vacation? You know, how was the Oracle food? Did you try finding those options? The Bond and Connect is going to start building that trust. And we call that depositing into somebody's emotional bank account. Yeah, the investing in them, you know, and then finding things in common. That way you can start building that relationship and that trust is going to be build stronger and stronger.
Yeah, that's that was exactly what I was thinking as you were describing. That is just strengthening that. It's almost like the glue, right? Yeah. Like you continuously show up, so you show the credibility. But then when you, you know, kind of relate to them as a person or, you know, you show interest in how they're doing, how they are as a person, you know, it just kind of it almost lowers the guard down.
Right? Lowers the guard down. And you're like, oh, you know, these people do care about me. My boss does care about me. And then, you know, from that perspective, it just, you know, I know personally, for me, when I feel like my my peers, even my my boss, my peers, my coworkers, whoever, if I feel that they care about me, I'm willing to show up more for those type of people.
Like, oh, I don't want to let these people down. I don't want to, you know, I definitely want to show up and give the best 100%. I always do. But especially specifically with those people, no matter how busy I am. Right. You mentioned, you know, being busy. I we're all busy and we're all busy. Almost 100% of the time.
But it's like, okay, I know, but I care about you as a person and I want to help you out. So I'm going to find a way, even if it is saying, Oh, hey, I can't, I may not be the best person, but Todd can, you know, and that's still hopeful, you know, just referring you, you're continuing the conversation, the problem solving.
You're generally trying to help them out and they know that. And there's going to be times you can't. And I always say that you can always do something. It's sometimes it's so not able to. But at least I know that you tried and, you know, that's all we ask, right? So going back to the previous episode, we talked about the C speak, but hey, when it comes to leadership, you know, am I seeing you do the right things?
Are you speaking in the way a leader should be speaking and are you behaving the same thing applies of trust, right? When you're when you're dealing with somebody trying to establish that credibility and trust with somebody, are they seeing you do these things right? You know, it's like, hey, I'm truly leaning in. I'm basing you have if I'm virtual, I'm going to on my video because this is an important conversation.
And am I speaking right? Meaning that, hey, I'm actively engaged, listening and asking questions, being curious, you know, what what do you mean by that? Can you tell me more? Help me understand instead of Why would you do that? That's weird. That's dumb. You know, it's like, No, you're not speaking in trust. And then the behavior, right? Okay.
I said, I'm going to do this. I'm going to follow up. I'm going to send you an email. I'm going to for whatever. And I'm doing it right. So that that applies here as well. You know, it's that cycle. You're doing it at people, people, and they all just works. It works nicely. Yeah, absolutely. C speak and the last one behave, see, speak and behave that that in addition my mind went to trust.
So see speaking behave when you do those things, that's kind of the pillar, right, for trust. Right. So maybe you think about too when you hear that if I think you know you're you're not only are you talking and talking and talking but you're walking into. Yeah, yeah. So yeah. Another thing too, there's, you know, when it comes to trust, there's a lot of things that you can do.
So when you're having conversations or when you're trying to build, build, build trust is that initially when you have a conversation with somebody, you're trying to get to know it's all right. State your intent. You know, hey, that the reason I want to get to know you is I want to build a strong relationship or a foundation or I want to get I want a partner state that intent and then kind of set share what's important to you.
Like, you know how we talked about building that emotional bank account? Well, I think it's really helpful if you try. Tell me, hey, these are things that you can do to build trust with me. Yeah. What are some things that I can do to build trust with you? Right? It may sound a little weird and scripted, I know, but there's other ways that you can say it, but just say, Hey, this is what I value.
This is what I value and what, you know, what really is important to me when it comes to working in a partnership. What do you value or what do you want? What's important to you? Yeah, exactly. So you can be on that same page, almost like a love language, right? We'll call it a trust language here. I was just drawn to this.
Yeah. Purposeful time off trust language. Yeah. And that's. That's what it is, man. You don't have to be like, Hi, this is how I. This is how I see trust. How do you see trust? If it doesn't sound natural, you usually use the language and words that work for you. Yeah, but as long as you get to know, Hey, how can I build that equity of trust with you?
And also, what can I do to not demonstrate that equity of trust with you? So that's that's really it. But let's talk about the the benefits and best practices, because I know a lot of folks are probably going, okay, great, we got it. We know the definition and we know that these are things that I can do, right?
And there's tons of examples out there as a leader and now I want to touch on this before we go in there actually birthday celebrations. Are you doing those things for your teammates? Because if that's something they truly value, are you doing that? Are you sending up birthday cards? Are you acknowledging them? We use a rec as two here that we send out recognitions in point values.
You know, I think I've seen some leaders do like, you know, gift cards to movie theaters. You know, they value time with their family. That could be a great thing. They value time with their spouse. You know, the simple card, you know, sometimes flowers are hit and miss. You know, some people really like them and some don't. You know, I'm not a big flower person myself.
I am like, oh, they diretto. Yeah, they're great to look at. And there they go. But some people value them. So kind of figuring out what they'd like to build that trust. And here's again, Storytime Storytime with Z. I had a leader here at Insight and I didn't ask for permission, so I'm not going to say their name, but just leader.
Ask how they shared a story, how they were on a business. They were, you know, a lot of leaders had to do a lot of traveling, so they were traveling from office to office, partner to partner, client to client. When they came home after a long week of travel, they got notification that one of their leaders, one of their direct leaders under the family members passed away.
That meant a lot to them. And they have a good, strong relationship. It's you know, they listen to this this this team in of those direct rapport really means a lot. And they've known each other for years while the ceremony or what have you or the the you know the you or we call that they were going to they were going to do, you know, some service for them.
And it was that same that leading up to that weekend they just got back exhausted like a week or something. They could even Oh yeah, they could easily said, you know, I'm tired. I'm just not going to go. I can't. But they knew that this this teammate that would be so important for them to go that they just said, you know, I got to suck it up.
This is something that's going to be important to them. They're going to value that. They really would appreciate this. And I'm going to go ahead and just go. So they showed up and meant a lot to that leader and talk about building a lot of equity in that trust or just like Mandy that never knew. These went through a lot of travel.
You took time. I know you're exhausted, but you still make time for me in this difficult time in my life. Yeah. So just those moments, right? When you think about that, that was more, you know, very heavy area there. Right. But there can be celebrations, graduations, big events. Right. I when I joined inside a lot a long time ago, I got my citizenship, my team made a big deal out of it.
They decorated my desk and stuff like that. So those things right there really go a long way. And you just remember and it you build a strong foundation of trust. Yeah, absolutely. So on the flip side of that, I know you mentioned, you know, trust eroding trust. Right. Let me ask you something. Can you rebuild that or how long does it take?
What's the is there a right answer to that? Is there a set time limit or what does that look like? That's a that's an amazing question. And all depends on you know, depends on the the nature of the loss. So if it's six eight, for example, it was something that, you know, I asked you to work on a report for me while I was on vacation and come back and you didn't do it, but it's no big deal.
I can I can do it. It's going to take a little extra time out, y'all. You lost a little bit there, but the nature of the loss wasn't huge. But let's look at it as a major account of my I've been working on years for this. It's a big commission that's attached to it. And if we lose this account, this is like our last straw.
They're going to be leaving the business and we no longer have that. So let's say that same scenario, but that losses, that much detriment is going to be more difficult. Like, oh, that was a huge loss. Right? And I think that just depends on that. So for me, regardless of the size though, you have to continue to engage and you have to rebuild again.
And even I'm going to take you a long time, you have to continue to show up, demonstrate that, because as soon as you stop, all that hard work is and go back again and it's going to take you a long time. So just be patient, stay the course, prove that you can. But ultimately, it's going to be up to that person, whether they extend it or not.
You can't force them, you know what I mean? So that's a great question. And I think a lot of times, especially when you're talking about those relationships that work, okay, just continue to show up, continue to see, speak, behave, and eventually hopefully what time they will ever get back. But ultimately, it's up to that person when they when they want to do it.
Yeah. So we talked about a little bit about, you know, the trust in, you know, kind of building a stronger foundation. Right? We see it in teams, you know, whether it's a sports team, whether, you know, even on teams, you know, in your work environment, Right. You know, you kind of you can identify those stronger teams and they have that level of trust with each other.
Right. You can, you know, go off and have a meeting together and then like disperse and know that they're handling business. And you trust in them, trust that they're taking care of what they need to take care of, trust that they're doing what they need to do. And you can kind of just sit back and just look and say, Man, I want to be a part of those teams.
You know, that's it's amazing. That's a great transition into the benefits, right? Best practices. So what you describe is what you what is that what a high performing team looks like? You know, high trust team. Yeah. They have that it factor like when you go and you're part of their meetings like you know that they're just they really get along right?
They're jelling, they're throwing jokes around but they're also when it comes to the difficult decisions or having tough conversations, they lean in, but they're respectful and kind. But still, they challenge, right? They push, Hey, I disagree with that. And this is why hey, I want to challenge that. You know what? I want to dive into that a bit more because X, Y, Z.
But those conversations are energizing. They're not they don't tear down. They actually build nice. So that's that's a benefit of it. If you have a high performing team, a high trust team, you see that. And to your point, I want to where I want to I want to be a part of that team. You know, if you ever I've been situations where I join these meetings and I'm like, Oh, this is amazing.
I want to I want to be a part of this team. Now, can I join every meeting? I have the opposite your point. You see those teams where they either don't have meetings or they have meetings after meetings. After meetings, nothing gets done. It's just boring, right to the right to the point. Nobody is really interacting. Nobody's participating, Nobody's leaning in.
Yes, I do. I want to be, I guess, feel it, right? Yeah. Yeah. And with that, the better benefits is that, you know, the speed of things goes up so you get the things done faster, but at the same time, the cost, what you pay for on mistakes and things like that go tremendously low. So you speed up your process because you know that you're doing what you're doing.
You don't have to repeat the work you trust that the person is doing. So you want to double check. You don't do all these things, but the amount of errors go down tremendously, all that. So there's there's a huge benefit there. The other thing, too, is that, you know, we talked you talked about earlier about breaking down those walls.
It's going to be different for everybody. Some of us are very private. We don't we don't disclose as much. And with time it will go down. Once people go, yeah, you're you build that credibility with me. And that's where, you know, we can really dive into the good the good work getting into those conversations and get into the high performing team.
Yeah. So you said something about the, the teams and leaning into difficult conversations that really kind of struck me and took me. The first thing that came to mind was it's almost like a family. It's a family dynamic, right? Like everybody has, you know, their, their quarrels and, you know, things like that. You lean into it, you talk about it.
It might be tough, but at the end of the day, you know your family right. And that's kind of along those same lines. You might have to have the difficult conversations among your team. But, you know, at the end of the day and back to assuming positive intent, right, Because that's what we do, you know, in leadership is always assume positive intent.
Yeah. Until there is that. Tell us something. You tell us So you behave contradicts that, right. Yeah. Like okay, now I can't I can't. Right. That's why they had to rebuild it with you. Yes. So yeah, there's, there's a lot more that we can unpack on this, but just setting the table once again, rising as a leader, going into a leadership role, first of all, identify, you know, am I a leader, Should I be a leader?
I know I have a responsibility. Am I going in for the right motivation, motive, knowing all that and saying, yeah, I definitely this is what I want to do. I want to see my team succeed. I want to grow, develop my team. Whatever motivation you have around that, next thing is, okay, I need to start building that foundation of trust.
And a great book. Patrick Lindsay only talks about how to overcome the five dysfunctions of a team. And it's a pyramid in the very first. The first part is you have to build trust. If you're not building it, then everything else is going to be difficult to overcome after that. Once you have that solid foundation of trust, then you can have healthy conflicts, debates.
Everybody will, you know, deliver on their commitments. People are going to be held accountable and get things done. And ultimately you have those results. So again, that just shows you the power of that. But people take it for granted. It you know, it's there. It's not. But when it's not, it's going to it's going to hurt. It's going to hurt your performance and hurt your team in your culture.
Yeah. So we talked about, you know, what trust is, how to build and maintain it and some of the benefits of it. So is there anything I missed today? You know what? No, I mean, we covered covered those areas. There's a lot more we can unpack. Honestly. That could have been an episode for each one of those. We just kind of, you know, putting an overall blanket over that or overall or an overview of that future episodes.
We can even deliver one of those at a time if you want, you know, really dive into that. But I would say this is to recap this, right? If you are currently looking into leadership or you're in a leadership role, take a moment right now to think about, hey, were or is the trust level of my team at this moment, you might say, hey, there's trust foundation with a few of my teammates, but not everybody.
Maybe I don't have any at all or you know what? Yeah, solid foundation. Fantastic. So first of all, take inventory. Second, whatever that inventory is, what are the things I need to do? Do I need to build if I haven't yet, If my answer has no, I have it. I just we just get right to business. We do the thing.
Well, this is where I need to build the positive motion of being count. Talk more than just work. Get to know your teammates. Get to know what they value, how to what, what you need to do to build that trust with them. And then you share yours as well. So it's reciprocal. If you currently it's a 5050, a few of you not.
Okay. Well, for the ones I don't, I need to build for the ones I do. And then if you do, then I need to maintain, you know, my, my following through my not going to do anything that's going to erode that trust and that's it. So just think about those actions. What do they value, what they respect, And from there, moving forward, you're going to be totally fine.
And just like an automobile, you know, if you don't maintain it, if you don't get the oil change and do that maintenance over time, it's going to erode and it's going to break down. So think of it that way as well. Join us in our next episode. A Z shares as their experience and to hear firsthand how some of our leaders develop their teams.
Z Tinoco is a diversity, leadership & organization development manager who believes in building teams, inspiring minds and creating authentic connections. He helps people reach their goals and find success through humor, leadership and a diverse mindset.
Richard is an experienced paid media specialist with a proven track record of creating and executing successful campaigns across various platforms. Richard has a passion for tackling new challenges, connecting with people and loves all things tech.