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Successful Supervisor Part 80: One Measure of Trust in Your Organization

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP

I have noticed an interesting relationship between the focus of a team and the level of trust within that team.

Teams that have a culture of high trust, habitually focus on the things they are trying to accomplish.  They are forward thinking and spend the bulk of energy pursuing the vision. Little energy is wasted in bickering or other distractions, so the team is highly productive.

In contrast, teams that have low trust focus mostly on each other.  The energy is dissipated in discussions of protecting their turf or avoiding something they are afraid might happen. Team members are often suspicious about the motives of their supervision and habitually seek to undermine efforts to improve productivity.

You can actually measure the level of trust in a group by just listening to the dialog that goes on in daily activities.  If you hear a constant stream of negative or defensive comments about other individuals on the team, chances are that group has a culture of low trust.  If you hear people discussing how they can accomplish their aggressive goals more perfectly, then it is likely this group has a high level of trust.

Make it a point to listen to the dialog in teams you supervise, and work to improve the level of trust within your group.  You will find it is a much more pleasant atmosphere, and the increase in productivity will be obvious. You will also benefit from lower turnover and fewer labor relations issues.


Successful Supervisor Part 80: One Measure of Trust in Your Organization (.pdf 117K)

This is a part in a series of articles on “Successful Supervision.” 

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.