02 Dec No Trust – No Leadership


During the past week, my students have been discussing the challenge of leading virtual teams, and the prerequisite that came up most was trust.  There seems to be a perception that leaders have trouble trusting remote workers, and long before Lencioni wrote a book on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, we knew that absence of trust leads to team dysfunction.  A student in my class asked if trust has to be earned, or whether it should given in order to be received.  I have often said that a lot of bad behavior at work is from some level of insecurity, and not trusting your team reflects more on the leader than the team.

William Glasser, author of Choice Theory®, eloquently described relationships and habits that are closely aligned with building trust:

Seven Caring Habits

  • Supporting
  • Encouraging
  • Listening
  • Accepting
  • Trusting
  • Respecting
  • Negotiating differences

Seven Deadly habits

  • Criticizing
  • Blaming
  • Complaining
  • Nagging
  • Threatening
  • Punishing
  • Bribing or rewarding to control

It’s hard to imagine any of the caring habits described above are not dependent on active listening as the baseline competency/habit.  Attached is a video mini-lecture I delivered to my team on the subject, and I’m interested in your thought on how trust is earned in today’s complicated and virtual environments?

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