All leaders know how important trust is. Often when I speak to leaders they indicate to me that nothing can be done before trust is built.  In the ICOPE training we learn 2 principles on Trust with the ultimate aim of gaining insight into the generation of trust in our followers. In the first module the aim is to understand how we decide to trust someone. The same principles are true for the generation of trust in others and can be used by us as leaders as soon as we have good insight into it.

The first principle is that knowledge causes safety in the presence of the other person, which results in more tolerance towards that person and this brings about trust toward that person. As leaders we often allow our own insecurities driven by the “Wild Horse Rule” to cause us to communicate less with the people we lead. This lack of communication triggers the “Wild Horse Rule” to fill the gaps in their knowledge and thereby gets them thinking we as their leaders have the worst intentions possible.

Trust is crucial for the success of our team so what should we do?

Intentionally decide what personal information you are comfortable with sharing. Also consider the information that you have that made you feel comfortable with the direction your team is going and share this information openly. Also encourage them to be more open with each other and yourself regarding their personal and work information. This open flow of information will result in all feeling that the “Law of Supremacy” (a subconscious need driven toward the feeling of control) is satisfied. This will bring about a feeling of psychological safety (which is an element of engagement we will look at in module 5 of the ICOPE program). As soon as an individual feels this safety they are prepared to be more tolerant of the “weirdness” of you and their colleagues. This in turn will impact the psychological availability experienced by them (also and engagement building block). When all these actions are in place then we have all the building blocks for an increased trust level.

Next week I will write about the other principle mentioned in the 1st module of the ICOPE program namely the 4 C’s of trust based on the book of my dear friend Jonathan Low from Singapore.