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Want to develop wellbeing?

Start with a core of trust.
As leaders, if we are to grow our own wellbeing and create a working environment that supports the wellbeing of others, then one of the critical skills we must develop is a core of trust – a core of trust in ourselves that extends to everyone around us.

The core of trust, according to Stephen M. R. Covey in The Speed of Trust is a combination of both character and competence.

We can hardly ‘be well’ if we can’t respect ourselves, if we don’t demonstrate character. Character being to operate with personal integrity and honourable intent.

To be feeling well in our role we also need to know that along with being a good person we are also doing a good job, that we have competence. Competence meaning we have the demonstrated capabilities to perform our leadership role as evidenced by a proven track record of results.

So how do we actually ‘do’ trust?

We make sure that people see and hear our integrity, intent, capabilities and results reflected in our daily behaviours.

In The Speed of Trust Covey identifies these 13 specific behaviours to both establish trust and restore it when it is lost.

1. Talk straight

Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people or distort facts.

2. Demonstrate respect

Genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can’t do anything for you. Don’t fake caring.

3. Create transparency

Tell the truth in a way that people can verify. Be open and authentic. Err on the side of disclosure. Operate on the premise of ‘What you see is what you get. ’ Don’t have hidden agendas.

4. Right wrongs

Make things right when you are wrong. Apologise quickly. Make restitution where possible. Demonstrate personal humility. Don’t cover things up. Don’t let pride get it the way of doing the right thing.

5. Show loyalty

Give credit freely. Acknowledge the contributions of others. Speak about people as if they were present. Don’t disclose others’ private information.

6. Deliver results

Establish a track record of results. Get the right things done. Accomplish what you are hired to do. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Don’t make excuses for not delivering.

7. Get better

Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. Be a constant learner. Develop feedback systems – both formal and informal. Act on the feedback you receive. Thank people for feedback.

8. Confront reality

Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Lead out courageously in conversation. Don’t skirt the real issues. Don’t bury your head in the sand.

9. Clarify expectations

Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Validate them if needed and possible. Don’t violate expectations. Don’t assume that expectations are clear or shared.

10. Practice accountability

Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Be clear on how you’ll communicate how you’re doing – and how others are doing. Don’t avoid or shirk responsibility.

11. Listen first

Listen before you speak. Listen with your ears – and your eyes and heart. Find out what the most important behaviours are to the people you are working with. Don’t assume you know what matters most to others.

12. Keep commitments

Say what you are going to do, then do what you say you are going to do. Make commitments carefully and keep them. Make keeping commitments the symbol of your honour.

13. Extend trust

Appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and credibility (character and competence) of the people involved. Have a propensity to trust. Don’t withhold trust because there is risk involved.

Of these behaviours are some more important to you than others? Are some a particular strength? Are there others that you are not so comfortable with? If you had to choose three that you would like to overhear someone say about you, what would they be?

When we behave in ways that allow us to both trust ourselves and engender trust in others it cannot help but strengthen our personal wellbeing and in turn make an enormous difference in all aspects of our personal and professional life.

As we lead and manage our own wellbeing so do we lead and manage the wellbeing of others and of our organisation.

If you would like to know more about how to develop and apply this crucial leadership skill register on the QASSP website for your closest workshop ‘Building High Performance Teams Through a Culture of Trust’.

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