Stephen Covey says in his book “The Speed of Trust” that distrust doubles the cost of doing business effectively and triples the time it takes to get things done.
The number one behaviour that creates trust, according to Covey, is to keep commitments. In other words, to promise AND deliver. To always do what you say you are going to do.
So what can you do about this today? Here are 3 very simple suggestions.
- Be on time for meetings and appointments. Being frequently late sends a loud message about your unreliability, and your lack of respect for the people who have to wait for you. Why should they trust you if you don’t respect them?
- Be prepared for meetings. Failure to prepare wastes people’s valuable time. If you waste their time, why should they trust you with other things of value to them?
- When you give your word, keep it. If for some reason you aren’t able to keep your word, then let the other party know as soon as possible. They’ll appreciate your honesty, and the fact that you thought about the impact it may have on them.
How well do you deliver on these three simple suggestions?
I came across an HBR post by Robert Sutton, 12 Things Good Bosses Believe, and thought it was a good companion to my previous post Employees Don’t Leave Bad Companies, They Leave Bad Bosses.
Here are 12 key beliefs of great bosses.
- I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me.
- My success — and that of my people — depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things, not on magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods.
- Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much. My job is to focus on the small wins that enable my people to make a little progress every day.
- One of the most important, and most difficult, parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
- My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect my people from external intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe — and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well.
- I strive to be confident enough to convince people that I am in charge, but humble enough to realize that I am often going to be wrong.
- I aim to fight as if I am right, and listen as if I am wrong — and to teach my people to do the same thing.
- One of the best tests of my leadership — and my organization — is “what happens after people make a mistake?”
- Innovation is crucial to every team and organization. So my job is to encourage my people to generate and test all kinds of new ideas. But it is also my job to help them kill off all the bad ideas we generate, and most of the good ideas, too.
- Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the negative than to accentuate the positive.
- How I do things is as important as what I do.
- Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk — and not realizing it.