Building Higher Trust 14 Development of People

There is a direct link between the development of people and building a culture of higher trust.

When leaders focus high energy on making sure each individual sees a pathway to become more valuable to the organization, it demonstrates how much the leader values people.

Start with a Development Plan

Each individual in the organization should have a solid development plan that was created by dialog between the leaders and the employee.

The discussion will contain an understanding of the skills the employee already is contributing along with a glimpse of how this person could become even more valuable.

Once the leader and employee agree on what additional skills would be helpful, the information can be crafted into a concrete plan for moving ahead.


The process of creating a development plan is a kind of bonding activity that lets the employee know he or she is a valued member of the organization.

The willingness to envision the employee performing at a higher level is what makes the activity valuable in terms of building higher trust.

Solid steps forward

Without a specific plan, even if intentions are good, the employee may feel somewhat taken for granted among the vicissitudes of organizational priorities. It may be a long time before activities are actually put on the calendar.

Worse, the intentions may never be realized at all as the urgent needs of daily life take priority.

With a plan in place, there is a high probability that some specific training will be scheduled and carried out.

Revise the plan often

It is important to continually revise the plan as some training takes place. This step is consistent with a philosophy of life-long learning.

If the development of people is viewed as a journey with no end point, it will have the most impact on building higher trust.

Praise the person

Leaders need to recognize the employees in a meaningful way as they go through various development activities.

People need to know that their efforts to improve are recognized and appreciated by upper management. That practice will make future development discussions richer and more rewarding for both the employee and the organization.

Bonus video

Here is a brief video about trust and the development of people

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

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