Trust is foundational to every human interaction.
So why is it, that a great many leaders don’t understand the importance of building and keeping trust?
A few years back, I was working with a team on a new software release, involving a web backend component, a new database schema, and set of new native mobile applications across multiple platforms. It was a highly visible release, and the heat was definitely on to deliver on time.
The boss unexpectedly moved the release date up a couple of weeks. Naturally, this threw everything into turmoil, and near panic. But, to the team’s credit, they dug in and did their level best to meet this new – and unwelcome – deadline.
One of my team members was getting married the day after release date – so needless to say, stress levels were high, above and beyond the need to deliver.
Release day came.
The boss came in, announced that the deadline was artificial, and that it had moved it up a couple of weeks because “he knew developers, and developers always say it will take longer than it really does.”
It wrecked the morale of team. And they never believed a word the boss – or I – ever said again.
Maintaining trust is more than just “doing what you say you’re going to be doing” or “keeping your word.” It is also about valuing the person on the other end of the relationship, and showing that we value them, through our actions.
And once lost, trust can never truly be regained. It’s a one shot deal.