Two Types of Trust

The dictionary defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

When I work with leadership teams, they frequently inform me that they trust each other. I’m sure they do, as I observe them demonstrating the level of trust that mirrors the quoted definition.

We all know trust between and among individuals is built over time. Leadership teams gradually build accountability, which helps build trust. They see Rock completion rates increase. Weekly To Do’s become “Done.” Leadership teams become more open and honest with each other.

These examples are a form of trust, but are they the level of trust that creates a high-performing leadership team that fights for the greater good every day?

There are two kinds of trust all cohesive leadership teams need to develop.

  1. Predictive Trust. This is the trust defined as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” This is the knowledge that when Elmer says he will help you with a project, he actually does. Or knowing the company accountant will routinely research all accounts receivable that are past 90 days due.

    Predictive trust is what leadership teams build over time. It is the understanding that each person will adhere to their commitments, do what they need to do.

    This type of trust is exemplified in leadership team members being accountable—but it isn’t enough to help a leadership team reach their true potential.

  2. Vulnerability-based trust. This type of trust will help a leadership team reach their true potential and go further than they or others expected. It requires us to become vulnerable relationally. It’s when we can admit we don’t know everything—that we made a mistake—that we need help with a Rock or an issue. And it is knowing your colleagues are here to help you, not criticize or demean you. Vulnerability-based trust places yourself in your colleagues’ hands. It is what allows a leadership team to achieve results beyond their wildest dreams.

Does your leadership team possess both these kinds of trust? If you’d like to build predictive or vulnerability-based trust in your business, or you just want to learn more about EOS, let’s set up a time to talk. Please use the consult form below to request a free phone call with me.

Oh—one more point. To build predictive and vulnerability-based trust in your organization, the leader has to take the leap of faith and go first. Ready? Set. Go.

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