Bridge the trust gap to impact the bottom line

07 March 2018

The CMI research “The Middle Manager lifeline” highlighted the centrality of trust and how vital it is in managing teams. It also identified the ‘5 ways to bridge the trust gap’ guidelines that are of great importance to the business.

The event, ran by Justin Collinge on January 31st, took the cultural thinking shared in the CMI research and applied it to any one-on-one relationship where trust is low, and then highlighted the actions that can build trust in that specific relationship. It’s a granular tool that supports repairing a low-trust relationship and perfectly matches the actions suggested in the report.

Justin started the event by sharing with the audience the results of the survey:

Bridge the Trust Gap

More about the survey here

As the research results show, trust and growth are interlinked: when an organization grows there is a direct correlation with the level of trust managers have in their leaders. The opposite is also true, in declining organizations only 15% of the managers trust their leaders.

Establishing trust is fundamental in achieving results and growth, showed attendees how to build trust once it has been lost.

First of all, he started with the definition of trustworthiness: a mixture of credibility, reliability and emotional connection over the perception of self-interest. Once the components of trust were identified we run the first interactive session with one of the attendees, let’s call her June. June shared with us her experience with a colleague who she perceived as not reliable and not credible. At the end of the exercise, the conclusion was that June needed to take some actions to address some of her perceptions and rebuild the trust she had actually lost.

There is always the possibility though that it may not be so easy to build trust, especially when the counterpart is not willing to enter a trustworthy relationship and when in an emotionally charged environment. What can we do in such situations? Justin shared the methodology used by the FBI in hostages and complex situations.

This methodology is based on the fundamental need of the interlocutor to be “felt”. In complex situations, it is never about the situation but it is about how people feel in that situation. It is demonstrated that as soon as one deals with his/her feelings, one gains emotional resilience and becomes able to support the other person to build/regain trust.

In situations where emotions are running high, there are three basic approaches

First: establish what feeling is creating a specific reaction.
“It sounds to me like you’re feeling xxx….Is that right?”

Second: establish the reasons for experiencing that feeling.
“Tell me why you’re feeling so xxx. Tell me more.... What else?”

Third: what actions can be taken for the feeling to improve
“What has to happen for that feeling of xxx to feel better? What can you do to make that happen?”

At this point, the attendees applied the methodology by spending time in groups of two to explore how effective this process is.

The event ended when the attendees completed the 2nd exercise. The general feedback was that trust is paramount in any organization and the two tools provided during the event will definitely be used by the attendees when the situation calls for rebuilding or establishing trust.

What some of the attendees thought...

  • Worth attending, Educative + Exciting 
  • Really worthwhile event 
  • A very engaging speaker who can present complex subjects in an accesible manager 
  • A practicle event on how to show empathy - Amazing! 
  • My first networking and educational event since joining CMI - excellent content from highly engaging speaker 
  • A lovely evening listening to a wonderful speaker Justin! 
  • Justin was a great presenter; he bought the topic to life in an engaging way & the techniques were highly practical & therefore achievable
  • Great event, with the opportunity to learn and try practical tools for use in the front line