How to cultivate a high trust culture

Observing how people behave and speak with each other, their customers and suppliers provides a great barometer to gauge levels of positivity and trust in your organisation.

As we know, trust is essential for organisations to succeed, thrive and deliver exceptional outcomes, while culture is played out by what people say and do every day and is therefore central to maximum productivity and success. Being really open to and aware of how people ‘are’ with each other in your organisation, taking a step back and objectively evaluating what you see can be a great trigger to making positive changes.

The definition of a high trust culture is when everybody is truly collaborative and respectful, sure and confident that each member of the team will do a superb job and there is no need to doubt or check on this. People have absolute faith in their colleagues’ ability to get the job done well in a timely manner to everyone’s satisfaction.  When you have great team spirit and can trust your co-workers, you promote feelings of safety and security that enables everyone to engage fully and encourage each other to reach their full potential and succeed. Trust in your fellow workers and a blame-free culture also leads to more open communication which then extends to an increased trust in the organisation and management, too.

This happens when the entire team is equipped with what we, at MGI, refer to as the Optimal Mindset, where everyone is equipped to willingly step up and take ownership and responsibility for their roles, they are optimistic that solutions, options and alternatives can always be found, they appreciate that all feedback is invaluable and have respect for each other’s point of view, alongside a firm belief that they really make a difference. When your people are equipped with the tools to ensure they have this Optimal Mindset, they can deal with anything that comes their way with confidence and capability – and it’s also a solid foundation to thrive through change and upheaval.

Four key building blocks

There are four key building blocks to create a high trust culture and promote better teamwork, stronger relationships and improved problem-solving skills.

  1. Awareness – Having a strong sense of self-awareness and self-management of ourselves and everyone around us builds optimism, motivation and a sense of value and self-worth. Being able to recognise our strengths and weaknesses makes us more aware of our emotions, thoughts and behaviours and empowers us to recognise when we need to take a step back from challenging situations and consider our options. Having a real awareness of ourselves and others makes us more empathetic and appreciative of others’ perspectives and personalities, which in turn helps us to be more productive, confident, proactive and motivated. Leaders can use this awareness of themselves and the way people are interacting in the organisation to take stock and consider the positives and the opportunities for developing higher levels of trust.
  2. Mindset – At the heart of everything we think, feel, say and do, our mindset impacts every aspect of our lives, shaping our response and reaction to every situation that comes our way, and driving our interactions and relationships with others. Highly productive and successful teams have a shared mindset of ownership and responsibility, optimism, respect and belief in their capability, so that they’re able to appreciate and act positively upon feedback. They can really listen and show respect by considering what others have to say, recognising the value of feedback and seeing setbacks as critical learning tools.
  3. Collaboration – This is where we see a tightly knit workforce working well together with active involvement – questioning, challenging and supporting one another while truly respecting the value of each other’s viewpoints. Collaborative teams can happily pull together so that problems are solved, and barriers swiftly overcome as people are motivated by a sense of purpose and achievement. Being open and honest allows working relationships to flourish on a foundation of mutual respect and trust.
  4. Communication – Positive, clear and engaging communication skills build two-way trust which leads to effective collaboration and stronger relationships. It’s always important to use positive, influential language and ensure that the first thing you say is constructive, empathetic, positive and solution focused as this demonstrates inclusion and respect and builds trust. Having the ability to communicate in a more confident, optimistic and capable way helps you to construct the right message for the most successful outcomes as well as more harmonious and healthy relationships, too.

When all four building blocks are firmly embedded in your teams and demonstrated through their everyday actions, it will be clear that everyone is working together effectively with the same aims to produce outstanding results and outcomes. People will have more insight into how they work and how best to work with others – they are empowered to communicate in a more collaborative and constructive way and ultimately build a productive and positive high trust culture.

Truly collaborative teams drive innovation and high levels of employee engagement, customer satisfaction and productivity. Ensuring your teams have the right tools and resources to hand will enable everyone to stay focused, overcome obstacles and excel in their roles with confidence and perspective, and a true commitment to excellence for the benefit of all.

To learn how MGI’s unique Positive High Trust Cultures Toolkit can provide your people with the self-management and communications tools, templates and strategies to consistently grow higher levels of positivity and trust, please get in touch here.

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