Building Trust 101 Trust Dust

December 2, 2022

This morning I thought of a really strange analogy I call trust dust.  I want to compare and contrast the concept of building trust between people with dust. There are some ways trust and dust are similar and other ways they are opposites.

Similarities of trust and dust

Dust is always present in the air. Nearly all of the time we do not see it when it is airborne. If there would be a particularly large particle of dust, we might notice it. Also, if there was a very bright light in the room, we might see some floating particles. Normally we do not pay attention to dust until it lands. When it does land, we also usually ignore it until there are enough particles to see easily. Then we get a dust mop and pick up the pile. 

Trust is like that too. There are numerous ways we build trust with another person.  Most of these are not big enough to see consciously, but they are there nonetheless.  Once in a while, there may be a particularly large particle of trust.

For example, you might come in from vacation to support a fellow worker. That would be a large particle of trust that you can actually see. The circumstances might make it stand out so we see it clearly. 

The trust particles land next to other ones forming a kind of film. Here is where the analogy becomes the opposite.

We wipe out dust but covet the pile of trust

When the layer of dust becomes noticeable, we go get a cloth or mop and wipe it off the surface so it is clean. In the case of trust, we want the pile to become as thick as possible. We always seek to add to the pile of trust with people we know. Eventually, there may be some force that reduces the pile. For example, we may have forgotten a commitment we made to the other person.

The more trust we have on the surface, the more likely there will be some left after the force goes away.  At least that is the theory.

I like the idea of trust deposits being so insignificant by themselves that we hardly notice them until they build up into a film we can see.  That is when we have that special feeling toward the other person that becomes a bond we cherish.

Conclusion 

Picture the trust deposits you have with other people.  Look hard to see if you can see them building into a bond of trust between you. Let the other person know you are feeling the bond of trust and see if the person recognizes it too.  I think the more visible we make trust in our lives, the more benefit we can get from it.  

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 

 

 


Building Higher Trust 100 Feed Your Team

November 25, 2022

If you are a leader, you will have better results if you feed your team. I mean that statement in both the literal and figurative sense. I will explore the impact in this article and give some tips for handling remote situations.

The importance of feeding your team 

I have observed that when a team meeting is accompanied by some food and drink the atmosphere is much more collegial and productive. When you bring in a box of doughnuts and a container of hot coffee, people respond and become more engaged in the topics being discussed.

Actually, any kind of food will work, but I would stay away from messy or awkward food presentations. Keep it to simple finger food and it will be less confusing or distracting. It will also be less expensive.

Food when your team is operating remotely 

You can indicate on the meeting notice that food is welcome at a remote meeting.  People are encouraged to bring a snack or coffee to the meeting.  For critical meetings, I have seen leaders actually have food items delivered to the homes of the team members. That gesture always makes a great impression. It is also a great way for the leader to show appreciation to the team members. I would stay away from sending out food coupons because they encourage people to leave home.

Figurative feeding 

The nourishment does not always have to be in the form of physical food. The leader can “feed” the team by providing information they would normally not receive. He or she can praise members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Many teams have some kind of ritual near the start of meetings to share some good news or thank fellow team members. That habit provides some form of social engagement to set the tone at the start of the meeting. This form of feeding can be live when members are present or remote when working from home.

Two caveats

You can overdo the feeding of a team whether it be literal or figurative.  A little goes a long way with this technique.  You must avoid having the munching time eclipse the whole meeting agenda. The best approach I have found is to keep the nibbling activities to less than 10% of the meeting time.  That is enough for it to register and spread goodwill but not so much as to distract.

Also, keep away from alcohol unless the meeting is an after-hours affair with networking.

Conclusion

If you take the time to feed your people with physical or spiritual food they will be more engaged. It is a simple gesture that will pay off in goodwill and productivity. You can use it anytime, but avoid overusing the technique. Do not let it become a distraction.

 

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations


Building Higher Trust 99 Trust and Your Dog

November 18, 2022

You may have heard a version of this point sometime before about your dog. I trust my dog to not make a mess on the rug, but I would not walk out of the kitchen and leave a hamburger on the table. This simple dichotomy demonstrates an important point about trust.

Trust is never absolute

Regardless of the relationship, there are always limits to the trust we have in other people or things.  We don’t think much about extreme conditions, because we rarely operate in the danger zone. For example, I do not trust a string to support my body as it dangles off the Empire State Building.  The stakes are too high, and the string looks kind of feeble to me.

There is a zone of conditions where we feel it is safe to trust. Outside that zone, trust becomes chancy.  If you don’t believe me, think of any person or thing that you have the utmost trust in.  Now let your mind wander to the edges of conditions that never occur in real life.  If they did happen, then you would be unable to trust under those circumstances.

What is an acceptable zone for your dog? 

You can train a dog to do lots of things, and the dog will obey almost always. If you get into a zone where instinct takes over, no amount of training is going to make the dog robust. The dog is going to do what a dog does. 

Let’s take another example and test it out.  I trust in the force of gravity. It has been my experience all my life. I understand that if I drop something it will go down and smash on the floor.  There is no doubt in my mind unless you put me in a spaceship. Then all of a sudden the rules have to change.  

Be alert for when you are reaching the limit

In an organization, we trust people all the time.  We know they understand the rules and abide by them faithfully. The boss trusts Linda to be at work on time at 8 a.m. every day. She is a dedicated worker who has an impeccable track record. But if Linda woke up this morning with a temperature of 107 degrees, you cannot trust her to get to work on time.  There is no mystery here.  She is as incapable of getting to work as if she had an accident on the highway.

Conclusion

We always need to think about the potential exceptional things that can cause someone to violate a trust.  Trust is not absolute under all conditions.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 

 


Building Higher Trust 98 Colin Powell on Trust

November 11, 2022

Colin Powell gave a response to a student question that I find most helpful.  She asked him the following question. “How would you define the key characteristics of effective leadership that allow you to go and be an advocate for good?” Colin gave an immediate one-word response, “Trust.”

His experience in a nutshell

He went on to tell the short story of when he first learned this lesson from his superiors 50 years earlier. He was in the infantry school at Fort Benning. Here is a link to a brief video of Colin Powell’s view on the importance of trust.  

His main point is that good leaders are people whose followers trust them.  He quipped that if there is trust, people will follow you, “even if only out of curiosity.” It is worth doing a bit of analysis on this concept. 

Translating Colin’s message on trust to my own environment 

I always thought highly of Colin Powell as a model of excellent leadership. He had a long and industrious career helping our country in the military and as Secretary of State.  A key lesson was that once you have built trust, you can be a human being and make a mistake.

Mistakes can happen

Powell made a few mistakes in his career. His integrity was never doubted. People respected him. The most serious blunder was when he recommended the USA invade Iraq in 2003. His analysis was based on faulty intelligence that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons of mass destruction. Those weapons were never found as the invasion unfolded.

A key lesson in leadership 

The lesson is, if you build real trust as a leader, you no longer have to be perfect. I learned the lesson when interviewing CEOs in preparation for my third book on trust.  Leaders who have not built trust must guard every action or sentence. People are waiting to pounce on any potential inconsistency.  Life for these leaders is miserable and highly stressful. 

Leaders who build trust can relax and be fallible human beings because people will cut them some slack. That’s why the title of one of my books is “Leading with Trust is like Sailing Downwind.”

Two very different ways to lead

The difference in quality of life for the leader who has built trust is palpable. I observed this difference when interviewing many leaders in preparation for the book. Leaders who had not built trust were bundles of nerves and totally stressed out. Leaders who knew the secrets of building trust were relaxed and far more productive.  They were actually having a ball because great leadership really is a blast. You just need to learn that the key is trust. Colin learned this lesson early and used it throughout his life.

Colin Powell paid attention as a lieutenant at Fort Benning. The skill he learned made him adored and world-famous. He died on October 18, 2021, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The cause of death was a compromised immune system: probably complicated by COVID.  At his funeral, three current and past presidents hailed him as an American Hero.

Conclusion

Please do not underestimate the power of trust in your organization.  Believe me, it changes everything. Not only are you a more effective leader, you also have a much richer and more enjoyable life.

 

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 


Building Higher Trust 97 Trust Fragments

November 3, 2022

In this article, I will focus on the pile of trust fragments that remain after trust has been shattered. The process of rebuilding trust starts with examining the fragments of broken trust.

I like to use visual analogies when describing my beliefs about trust. For example, I built a Rube Goldberg-like device that I call my Trust Barometer. I use it to describe how trust is often built in small increments over time. The device also shows how all the built-up trust can be destroyed very quickly.  Here is a brief video of me demonstrating “The Trust Barometer.”

What are Trust Fragments?

Think of the relationship you have with another person. It is not a simple thing. It consists of many interrelated parts held together by a magical force called trust. I picture it like a beautiful glass ball filled with experiences and feelings about the other person.

When a trust betrayal occurs, the glass ball becomes shattered, and the pieces all fall to the ground.  Those pieces are the trust fragments that form the basis of rebuilding trust.

How to pick up the fragments

Some of the trust fragments will be distorted or lost in the process of the breakup. Still, there will be plenty of fragments that are intact and useful. Set aside the temptation to focus on the catastrophe that caused the ball to explode.  Instead, start looking at the pieces you recognize.  They will be all over the place and not in good order.

Start looking at the parts you can recognize.  For example, look at the happy memories that were from the time before the explosion. Recall as many of the good feelings about the other person as you can. Fixate on what it was about these times that provided value to the relationship. Many of these things are still in place and just need to be put back together like a jigsaw pussle.

Get some glue

As you put some pieces in place, make sure to glue them together so they start forming a picture. I think the glue can take the form of a heart-to-heart discussion between yourself and the other party. What are the parts of the glue?  One is the desire of both parties to return to at least a strong relationship as you had before. By verbalizing this desire, you go a long way toward the repair. Another part is demonstrating your care for the other person and the relationship.

Ask what will make the repair complete

If you both have expressed a desire to repair the damage, you are halfway home. Ask the other party what would have to occur to mend the damage completely.  Ask if there might be a way to make the relationship stronger than it ever was before.  Those questions will get the endorphins flowing and add enthusiasm to the work.

Verify progress along the way

Complete repair is not going to happen in an hour or a day.  Expect the process to be delicate and challenging but worth the effort. It is important to celebrate when the fragments are back together for part of the puzzle.  Feel good about this progress. It will give you the energy to continue.

Conclusion

Picking up and repairing the fragments of lost trust is not a simple process. It will be rewarding and very valuable if you take the steps outlined above.  The process can be repeated anytime there is a serious breach of trust.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 


Building Higher Trust 96 The Synapse of Trust

October 28, 2022

Trust between people is like a synapse in the body. A synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical signal to another neuron. Think of it as the communication channel between neurons in the body. Without the synapse, all life would cease to exist.

Similarly, the ability to pass trust from one person to another allows trust to be viable in our lives. The basis is the ability to communicate with each other. Trust is like the glue that holds people together. It can exist at all levels because it is fundamentally a kind of synapse between people.

Trust within an organization

A similar pattern exists within organizations, where trust facilitates interactions between people. Where the synapse does not happen, trust becomes thwarted, and it blocks fruitful interaction. This barren condition is common. It results in people “playing games” with each other in an effort to gain political traction for their own agendas. 

I visualize trust as existing in the “white spaces” between thoughts and activities. Trust enables the flow of ideas and concepts in an environment free of fear.  That condition is vital to creativity in any group endeavor. One of my favorite sayings is, “The absence of fear is the incubator of trust.” Lack of fear isn’t the only condition for trust to grow, but I believe it is a necessary precursor.

Many authors and researchers have documented the benefits of trust. For example, Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust makes a good point. He stresses that as trust increases costs go down and things move faster.  Dennis and Michelle Reina’s book, Trust and Betrayal, shares research on the process of healing broken trust relationships. In my own books, I seek to highlight the nature of trust and how to achieve it every day.

Reinforcing candor creates the synapse

The heart of building trust is to create a space where people feel safe.  They can share uncomfortable thoughts without fear of retribution. Leaders accomplish this atmosphere when they praise people for being honest and open. It is especially important when the message is difficult to hear. I call this technique, “reinforcing candor,” and I believe it is one important way leaders create the synapse. It is all about accurate communication between people.

Candor is not always a pleasant experience, because the truth is sometimes repulsive to behold. Individual differences allow one person to think a situation is acceptable while another individual may see it as intolerable. Revealing an opinion about an issue leaves a person vulnerable. The ability to withstand differences of perspective and still maintain respect is what makes trust so precious. The synapse of real trust is enabled by honesty and candor in communication. In the void between souls, these connections allow a strong bond of mutual care and support.

The synapse requires judgment

Raw candor is not always the best approach. We must apply it with judgment, tact, and care.  There are situations where it is wise to avoid blurting out our unvarnished thoughts. Within an organization, our reactions to activities or situations begin as private thoughts. They are not malicious or offensive; they are simply our beliefs.  The ability to communicate this information with leaders in a constructive dialog is important.

If we feel stifled out of fear of retribution, then our private information will remain hidden. The organization does not benefit from the information, and we suffer frustration by feeling muted.

When we know it is safe to express our thoughts in a helpful way, it is a different story. Leaders will listen, and we feel more attached to our work. The organization benefits from our viewpoint because of the open communication.

It is up to the leaders to enable this flow of information through the behavior of reinforcing candor. That behavior allows the synapse to occur.  Further, it is essential that leaders hear and understand the input and be willing to consider it seriously.

We must teach leaders the power of this fundamental law: without trust, we do not make progress. Candor is the enabler of trust.  Leaders need to embrace and reinforce candor as much as possible. It is not easy, as it is much more comfortable to become defensive when facing a contrary opinion. The best leaders make people glad when they bring up difficult discussions. It enables the synapse of trust to flow.

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 


Building Higher Trust 95 When Values Have Most Value

October 21, 2022

We are all familiar with the benefits of having solid values.  For leaders, the values become a bedrock foundation for doing business.  The irony is that values do you the most good when it is difficult or expensive to follow them.  That may sound backward, so let me explain.

When it is easy to follow the value

When a value is easy to model, then we do not even think about it. We just do what the value tells us. In those cases, having that value in place underscores what we already know. The impact is minimal.

When it is difficult to follow the value

Consider the other extreme, where following the premise of a stated value might be cumbersome or expensive. Following our values might even set us back in terms of short-term business objectives.  Now the rubber meets the road.  If we ignore the value because it is inconvenient or costly to implement it, then it shows hypocrisy. It shows that the values we brag about are only for show.

A frequent example

Let me share a common example to illustrate the conundrum for leaders.  Many leaders advance a value that states “People are our most important asset.” That statement is wonderful in terms of publicity but beware. The execution of that value literally means that when the market goes south, we do not lay people off.  If we purport that people are our most important asset, then we train them when work is slow. 

When operating according to our values means that we miss our overall performance numbers, the condition has gone critical. It is during these times that we demonstrate to our people that we really do believe in our values.

A real-life example

I know the CEO of a construction company that faced such a difficult decision.  The engineers discovered they somehow put the wrong size drain pipe under the concrete floor of a building.  They had built the building 10 years earlier.  Engineers discovered the error after the warrantee period had expired. There were no problems with the drainage for the past 10 years. The engineers recommended they say and do nothing.

The CEO got up and pointed to their first value which was “integrity.”  He said, “we need to follow that value and chip up the concrete to replace the piping.” The repair cost the company over $40K but the employees knew for sure their values were real.

When values mean the most

The CEO rejected the temptation to rationalize the situation and ignore the problem. He took the hard route, and it showed true integrity. Values do you the most good when it is difficult or expensive to follow them.  You have the opportunity to demonstrate that your values mean something.

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 


Building Higher Trust 94 Excessive Monitoring Leads to Games

October 14, 2022

If you are monitoring your employees to ensure the highest productivity, you are really encouraging them to play games.

Don’t say you trust your people but do things that obviously reveal you do not. You cannot expect people to trust you.  The fundamental behavior that builds higher trust is consistency.  You must walk your talk.

Tracking remote employees

Do not employ some form of tracking system for remote employees to figure out who is working up to specification. If you do, there is no hope for you. You cannot convince people that you trust them when your actions reveal that you do not.

Words from a famous author

My friend, Stephen M.R. Covey says that “you cannot talk yourself out of a problem that you behaved your way into.” Words are inadequate to reverse the damage done by your actions.  

The games people play

The end result is that people in the organization will start playing games with you. They will figure out which things you can track and which ones are important actions that cannot be verified.

You will end up with a compliance mentality (bare minimum) rather than an excellence mentality. The quality of work will suffer. Eventually, you will end up sitting on a pile of resignations or employees who are quiet quitters.

For example, one company started tracking the number of keystrokes as a way to measure productivity. The employees learned to set up one of those pecking bird toys next to the keyboard. When they needed to use the bathroom, they were covered.  If your employees are finding novel ways to trick your tracking system, you have lost the war. The energy is lost in the creative ways to fool you.

Show real trust

Trust people to do what is in the best interest of the organization. You give them the freedom to chart their own course. It leads to much higher productivity in the end. People go the extra mile for people they trust.

Conclusion

In the best performing organizations, leaders don’t just talk about trusting their employees, they actually do it every day. The employees respond by doing more than they are expected to, and the entire process runs smoothly.

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 


Building Higher Trust 93 Reinforce Trust Behaviors

October 7, 2022

Reinforce the behaviors that enhance trust within your organization. You need to encourage people to use these behaviors more often. Doing so will cause more people to practice them, and you will move your entire organization toward higher trust.

Reinforcement lesson from literature

In his book “Whale Done,”  Ken Blanchard stresses an idea about reinforcement. If you want more of a certain behavior, you need to reinforce the people who do it.  The idea is to catch someone doing something right and make them feel good about it.

Application to trust behaviors

The positive reinforcement technique is particularly effective at enhancing trust within organizations.  Leaders should preach and model the technique to shift the culture toward higher trust.

Examples of trust behaviors for clarity

Let’s focus on some examples that help illustrate how powerful this technique is at shaping the culture of a group. Here are six behaviors to reinforce:

  1. Admit mistakes – When people humbly admit a mistake, it usually enhances trust rather than reduces it. The reason is that many people try to hide their mistakes to avoid embarrassment. Exceptions include if the same mistake has been made before or if the mistake has a sinister intent.
  2. Do what you say – Consistency between words and actions is a way to enhance trust.
  3. Tell the truth – People recognize when they get straight facts, even if the news isn’t good. They appreciate the honesty.
  4. Be transparent – People appreciate knowing what is going on. If managers try to hide things, trust goes down.
  5. Demonstrate care – When managers show they truly care about their people, it goes a long way toward enhancing trust.
  6. Adhere to the values – If people see the values modeled in everyday interactions, it helps entrench their validity.

There are hundreds of other examples I could cite, but I kept the list short for brevity. The point is that when leaders reinforce people when they do things that enhance trust, it tends to strengthen it.

Trust behaviors form the basis of your culture

Do not overlook this method of enhancing trust within your group. Look for opportunities to model the technique.  Don’t forget to thank other people when they take the time to praise others who are reinforcing trust behaviors.  The whole concept becomes a circle of support that really matters in the long run. It is the best method of building a high trust culture.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations

 

 


Building Trust 92 Honor Commitments

September 30, 2022

It sounds so simple to say, “honor commitments if you want to build trust.” In today’s environment, most leaders are over-committed. This condition can lead to mistakes and omissions, which lowers trust.

Following up on commitments is essential, but sometimes neglected by busy leaders.  It is easy with good intention to say, “I’ll get back to you on this.” Then, in the chaos of more critical issues, you forget to do it.

Don’t let yourself off the hook

You may rationalize and say, “Well, it wasn’t really a promise and they know how busy I am. This is only a minor issue anyway.” That kind of thinking will harpoon your trust-building efforts. If building trust is all about consistency, nothing is more basic than doing what you say.

Whenever you make a commitment, no matter how small, make sure you do it. Here are five tips that can improve your performance in this area.

How to follow up on commitments effectively:

  1. When you promise something, put a time frame on it. Rather than “I’ll get back to you,” say, “I’ll get back to you by the end of tomorrow. If I get derailed and you don’t hear from me by then, please give me a call.” The person knows you really do intend to answer their question.
  2. Keep an action item list. Whatever form, a 3″x5″ card or a phone, get the item down along with a promised time frame. It helps to write it in front of the person with the concern. You can say, “Just a second – let me jot that down so I don’t forget.” The person feels honored that you are considering the issue strongly enough to document it.
  3. If you delegate the issue to another person for follow-up, make sure they follow two rules. Start with, “Bob asked me to get back to you on this question.” Also, make sure your agent confirms with you when it is done. Cross it off your list when your agent tells you it is closed. In some cases, you should circle back to the person with a note or call. “I asked Mike to get back to you on your concern about the slippery floors. Did you hear from him and was his response satisfactory?” Doing that gives you the opportunity to jack up any agents that shirk their duty. 
  4. In a staff meeting, you can say something like, “If I ask you to act as my agent, be sure to do it. I expect you will keep working on it until you resolve the situation satisfactorily for the employee. If you can’t resolve their concern, get back to me. Don’t let it drop.”
  5. Use handwritten notes or texts to people. A brief note, along with a “thank you for bringing this up,” will be appreciated. Be careful to use a tangible note only when the response is positive and difficult to misinterpret. Otherwise, you may find your note tacked to the break room bulletin board next to a Dilbert cartoon. For difficult issues, it is always best to deal face-to-face.

Closure on action items is not only for personal discussions. The same logic holds when you promise something to a group. If you say, “I will make a decision on overtime by noon,” make sure they hear from you on that schedule. It is important to state a deadline or things tend to stretch out.

You may think a week to unveil a new organization is reasonable. For some people it feels like, “he promised to do something about that but never got back to us.”

Conclusion

Set a personal expectation that you will always be prompt and helpful with getting back to people. Think of it as a personal trademark that will set you apart from some other leaders.

This is not to say that you need to resolve every issue in the originally expected time frame. That would be impossible. Just do not leave people hanging wondering why you are not addressing their concerns. It is a common courtesy that many leaders neglect.

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations