Trust: how to generate the most valuable currency in business

Trust is the most valuable currency in business and once lost can be impossible to regain, reveals this article from Forbes. Research demonstrates that when business leaders practice a commitment to ethical business, they inspire a positive view of the organisation among employees. They also instil confidence in the organisation’s leadership and staff. What can leaders do to inspire trust among employees for both their colleagues and their Directors?

Three Key Elements

This HBR article breaks down trust into three essential elements. They are: positive relationships, good judgement/expertise and consistency. These elements derive from exploring data from 360 assessments of 87,000 leaders. These elements have been shown to be the key drivers behind variability in trust ratings.

Creating positive relationships can be done by following a set of principles. They include: maintain contact regarding the issues and concerns of others, balance results with concerns, generate cooperation between others and resolve conflict, and give honest feedback in a constructive way. Leaders need to have both expertise in their field and experience to draw upon. These are show through: use of good judgement to make decisions, expertise which makes a demonstrable contribution to achieving success, and the ability to anticipate and respond quickly to problems. A leader’s expertise is also demonstrated when others seek out and trust their ideas and opinions. Being consistent means to keep your word and demonstrate that you practice what you preach. Consistency is also being a good role model and willing to go above and beyond when needed.

The analysis also revealed that the greatest trust was inspired when leaders possessed all three key elements. Not all elements however are equally significant in generating trust. The most important is positive relationships, followed by judgement and then consistency.