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Tackling Trust Issues in Your People

I’m going to give you the secret to fixing the trust issues that exist in your enterprise, from my experience:

Of the most successful projects that I’ve had in my career, the ones that have gone the best are the ones where I’ve gained the trust of the person who signs the checks. 

This doesn’t sound Earth-shattering, because it’s not. You always do much better work with the person who can unblock things for you. This only sounds revolutionary because trust is one of those things that is just not prevalent enough within most enterprises. 

Everywhere I go, I see an awful lot of stratifications of management who don’t trust their own people, and thus will not advocate for those people so they can do the best work possible. 

And, on the other side, the people in question don’t necessarily trust that their management will make good decisions or trust/accept the truth correctly, so they are afraid to speak their truth to their management. 

Ultimately, with those levels of trust at all of the different strata in an organization, having lots of barriers that foster these trust issues really hinders progress – and this is yet another one of those enemies of transformation.

You need to make sure that, especially in the upper levels on down, you have the trust of the people who want to make the change in the first place (the people who sign the paychecks). 

You then need to make sure that they have the right people in place to ensure that things happen. 

Those people that they have delegated a lot of the actual transformation to, or the experts, need to be able to trust that the teams they put together and are given will do their jobs correctly, and that they can give those teams all the information they need to effectively do their jobs and unblock all of the blocks to progress, as good leadership does.

But ultimately, in most places that I go, there are at least one or two levels with serious trust issues, or where the trust just doesn’t exist at all.

And this is why proper business alignment is so important to build first. Because you need to either get folks to buy into the actual change, which is a trust exercise, or you need to get them out of the way, which is not so much a “trust” exercise, as it is a “putting the right people in place that you do trust” exercise.