Where is the Trust?

”The glue that holds all relationships together — including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”  

~Brian Tracy~

Without trust, there is nothing.

If trust and honesty do not exist within any corporation, systems fail and all communications break down.  

Relationships between all people can only survive if there is a trust to keep the bond, but when that trust is broken it is very difficult to build it back up again.  Therefore, there must be an ethos of openness and honesty with all communication that takes place.  However, for this to exist, there is a reciprocal nature in the fact that if people are to be honest about issues and concerns, the receiving party must be open to receiving this information.  It means we need to let down our guard, not be defensive, but listen to the concerns and move forward from there.

It is especially important for leaders.  Think about it.  Have you ever had a boss or leader who you didn’t trust?  If you didn’t, did you hold much respect for them?  How did this affect your ability to ‘follow  their lead?’  

If you have been in this situation, you will have most likely answered ‘no’ to the question about respect.  If we do not have trust in our leaders, how can we feel secure or safe in our roles?  How can people work together successfully, when trust isn’t inherent? 

Therefore, it is so important that as leaders we are transparent.  That things we are able to share with our staff, we do.  When decisions are made we make them as a team or are open and clear about the decisions that are being made.  If decisions begin to be made in a underhand or deceiving way, then mistrust will build and people will become more prone to question these decision.  It only takes one instance of this for trust to be completely broken.  

Staff need to believe in you.  They need to know above all, that when it comes to it, you will be there to support them and stand up for them (as long as they have been honest as well).  So, things that are said from one person to another need to be things that can be said in front of everyone.  As I say to my staff, don’t send me derogatory e-mails about other colleagues and don’t tell me things that you wouldn’t say in front the whole staffroom.  If you do, then I will begin to mistrust how you speak about me behind my back…..

These are all things to think about.  How do you model trust in your school?  We have all been in a situation where people ‘talk about’ other people….how do you react?  As a leader, what can you do to ensure there is complete trust, openness and honesty in your school?

Trust…….what successful teams are made of……..

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