"Talking about building trust is like being told to eat your vegetables," a colleague commented as we exchanged ideas for an upcoming meeting. Since I was leading the discussion on workplace trust, I was curious about his thinking. "We need that information," he concluded, "but that doesn't mean we always do what's good for us."
It's true. Most of us are familiar with the positive impact of trust at work—everything from increased employee engagement and higher shareholder returns to enhanced productivity and heightened customer service. It turns out that trust is great for business cultures, but what does it do for you? What's the personal impact for you when you operate with trust at work?
Eating vegetables and operating with trust have much in common. Both make you healthier, reduce your risks, and increase your odds of getting better life-results. Just like starting to eat healthier renders short, cumulative, and long-term impact, so does operating with trust.
Bottom line? Trust is good for you. Here are 12 personal benefits that will increase your well-being if you operate with trust at work:
- More genuine and mutually beneficial work relationships
- Higher enjoyment and increased work satisfaction
- Reduced company politics and finger-pointing
- Faster and easier to get things done; less resistance with more fun
- Increased collaboration, better ideas, innovative solutions
- Emotional health increase; diminished unhealthy conflict and angst
- Enhanced work optimism and lower stress
- Greater feelings of accomplishment and the ability to make a difference
- More authenticity from yourself and others
- Renewed sense of purpose and contribution
- Greater self-engagement and personal growth
- Happier with a greater sense of well-being
By the time we get out of elementary school, most of us understand that eating vegetables is good for us, enhances our well-being, and contributes cumulatively to our overall health. We also know, for the most part, we can choose to eat healthy or not.
The same is true with trust. It's good for our overall health. And it's our choice to build great work relationships, operate with trust, be worthy of another's trust, and enhance our trust building skills. It's our choice to opt out or in to trust building.
The trust that personally impacts the most is a local issue. It's about the people you work with, in your team, in your work group, and your sphere of influence. You'll embrace the healthy side of workplace trust when you don't let the trust you can't affect stop you from impacting and building the trust you can. Remember, it's never too early, or too late, to reap for your own life the benefits of vegetable eating or trust building.
More about how to operate with and build trust at work:
You'll find more trust building approaches in Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture That Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation (Career Press, 2014).