Trust is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, almost everything is difficult, if not impossible. Of course, there are many ways to build trust. Do what you say you’re going to do is high on the list. But there is another way to build trust in these highly uncertain times. Say I don’t know. Of course, people are looking to you for answers. Unfortunately, you don’t always have them. If you want to build trust with your employees in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, Jacksonville, Florida or anywhere in America, the squishiest answer may be the best to give. And it’s advice I give with every executive coaching or strategic planning engagement.
Every day the questions stream in. When will this end? How will we stay safe? How will this change what we do? Are we going to be OK? What’s going to change?
Everyone has questions. Some people offer answers. And even fewer people really know what the answers are.
We used to go out and do things. Now there is yellow tape on children’s swing sets and slides at the park. It’s hard to be certain of the safety of anything.
With so much in doubt, people have a thirst for trust. They want to know what they can rely on.
This is when real leaders step up. They show others the way and build confidence and credibility. Real leaders build on the trust they’ve already earned.
When someone in a leadership position says I don’t know, it builds trust. That’s because everyone knows they could have blustered a response. It’s tempting to show off your faux clairvoyance.
But the best response is the honest one. If you don’t know, say so.
Krissi Barr of Barr Corporate Success has been Cincinnati’s leading executive coach and strategic planning expert for many years. She has helped thousands of business owners, CEOs and executives grow, improve and succeed. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Jacksonville, Florida and all over America. Krissi knows a lot. But she doesn’t know everything. If you’re ready to work on building trust with your team, give Krissi a call. And when will all this craziness end? I don’t know.