How to Build Trust: How Recognition is the Easiest Next Step to Nurturing It
The question of trust – can we cultivate it, can we control it, can we rebuild it when it’s broken – is the substance of much debate in organizational development and leadership. A recent post from Harvard Business School shares a book “The Power of Trust” by Sandra Sucher and Shalene Gupta that who reveal a model that professes four key elements:
- Competence: Is the organization good enough at what it does to engender trust?
- Motives: Is leadership motivated “to serve the interests of others as well as your own” or is the effort merely window dressing?
- Means: Are methods employed perceived, among other things, as being fair?
- Impact: What are the results, good and bad, and do you take responsibility for them?
“This work suggests that trust can be engineered, at least at the organizational level.”
Want to know where to start at the individual and team level? Recognition.
Research with Metrics@Work published in our book “Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness” shows much high trust in the organization when there is high satisfaction with recognition. Since its publication six years ago, having spoken from thousands of individuals about recognition, I have heard time and time again that the way you can break trust is through inauthentic, conditional, and manipulative recognition (eg., I compliment you to get you to say yes to something). Sincere, authentic, and meaningful recognition builds trust. It fuels connection. It boosts collaboration. It instills connection.
Make sense. Recognition, in the context of the model, can be a key way to display “motives” and demonstrates “means”.
Please don’t forget some of the toughest nuts to crack are manageable through small acts of change. Small steps forward. If you want more trust tomorrow, appreciate someone today.
I recently did a series of episodes for Authentic Living with Roxanne, a podcast by my good friend and colleague Roxanne Derhodge where we talked about creating authentic leadership and building trust through recognition. I invite you to check out these 2 delicious, nugget-filled episodes. I know you’ll get a ton of great ideas to easily implement for your team!
And here are even more resources to learn about creating trust and authentic recognition for your team: