If we worry, we don’t trust; if we trust, we don’t worry. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its grief, but it does empty today of its joy. – James Kurtz.
Without trust it is impossible to establish healthy relationships that we can grow from. The difference between a failure and a success story can be a matter of trust. Employees that trust each other are usually more creative because their lizard brain is not sending wrong survival signals like worries or fears to stimulate the body’s reaction for a “fight or fly” automatic mode. Wars have been built on mistrust.
In today’s highly connected global economy, trust is the most valuable currency. Consumers trust brands that are trustworthy and tell billions of friends and followers to buy or ban products.
In global companies, international assignees are often sent based on their expertise and success at home more than on their high emotional intelligence (EQ) or cultural intelligence(CQ) . Mistrust in multinational teams leads to the “Us versus Them” syndrome and is the most damaging side effect impacting productivity, performance, talent engagement and retention. In a previous post “Managing global Assignments” , I mentioned the short-term view of cutting costs on expatriates without exploring the long-term impact on trust and business growth .
If you want to establish an international presence you need partners that are trustworthy but poor understanding of local cultures can sometimes be translated as non trustworthiness and both partners get stuck for the wrong reasons.
The impact of mistrust is the same in your life too. Being trustworthy doesn’t mean being naive and giving up personal information that can damage your reputation or worst, your bank account.
In the two biggest social networks for professionals, Linkedin and Twitter, you need to balance what is open and what is not. However, what is the point of being on Twitter if you prevent people to see your tweets? The consequence is that you cannot build conversations because your fears speak so loud that they frighten people who would like to follow you and RT your valuable content. Same on Linkedin, while I am not totally open as I choose to include only people I know, I let members see my contacts so people create value by interconnecting. When I see a closed account, I usually delete the contact as I interpret that as a trust imbalance.
To be trustworthy means showing integrity, walking your talk and providing value. Trust decreases when you start cheating, spamming people or ignoring to acknowledge your sources.
In his book “The Speed of Trust”, Stephen M.R. Covey explain how low trust slows every decisions, every communications and every relationship and how trust produces speed, competitive advantage and results. I highly recommend that book especially for people leading diverse and multicultural teams.
” high trust is the critical career skill in the new global economy”