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Trust and Solving Problems

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP

The level of trust in a group has a profound impact on the ease with which they solve problems. I sit on several Boards of Directors, and one of them is a pretty low trust group. When a problem comes up, it seems the team is always tiptoeing around the interpersonal issues. Low trust groups often fail to solve the real problem and frequently have to deal with a lot of acrimony, often unrelated to the problem.

This low trust group can discuss things for an hour and not even get close to the real problem at hand. We quite often end up putting “BandAids” on the symptoms hoping the problem will resolve itself. We all know the world does not work that way. It is very frustrating because we waste a lot of time and energy with low output.  

Another BOD I sit on is a particularly high trust group. They solve problems quickly and efficiently because they get to the heart of the issue fast without people playing games with each other.  One hallmark of high trust groups is that they solve problems quickly and with high quality solutions while having fun. 

The quality of solutions is higher because people are not afraid to voice creative ideas. They don’t need to protect themselves from ridicule. Brainstorming possible actions is spontaneous, light, and often comical.

It is important to assess the level of trust on every team.  There are numerous surveys available online if you just do a quick search. As an alternative, I have developed a quick survey that can be very helpful at understanding the level of trust on your team. It is available at the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZZGQVD3 .

Take the time today to do an assessment of the trust level on your team.  This is especially important if your team seems to struggle at times. Make sure all members of the team take the instrument and share the data.  If trust is lacking, then get a commitment to do something about it. Here is a link to articles about trust on my Leadergrow Website  http://www.leadergrow.com/articles/categories/17-trust

Putting up with interpersonal issues that result from low trust is a sign of mediocrity. You can move to excellence simply by investing some time and energy into raising the trust level.  It is not impossible, and your team will become much more efficient. 

Trust and Solving Problems (.pdf 78K)

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is author of: Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational ChangeThe Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals,  Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob had many years of experience as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations. Bob Whipple is currently CEO of Leadergrow, Inc., an organization dedicated to growing leaders.  For more information or to bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him by email, phone 585-392-7763, fill in the contact form on the Leadergrow Website, or BLOG.