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It's a Trust Fall Baby!

Leadership trust

In the words of the immortal and glorious P!nk and her song Trustfall “Picture a place, somewhere else far away. Where you know what they mean, and they mean what they say to us. And would that be enough.”

Last week’s show was all about How to Build Strong Workplace Trust and Connection. We started the day with some interesting stats from a 2023 Gallup Survey, only 21% of employees strongly agree that they trust the leadership of their organisation. Now that’s a disturbing stat!  But it gets worse, from PWC’s Trust Survey 2024, 84% of business execs think their customers trust their company, but only 27% of customers said the same.

Trust is the Foundation

Those are some startling stats. We have a trust gap! Trust is the foundation of all relationships. If trust is the foundation to all relationships including the relationship with yourself, it stands to reason that it accelerates the bottom line of an organisation. In fact 93% of the survey respondents agree, 49% strongly agree.  

Let’s think that through:

  • If customers trust you they engage more, they buy more and they refer you to other organisations or customers.

  • If employees trust you, they are more productive, they create better quality products and services and there is greater operational efficiency because they aren’t questioning themselves and they are doing the job once!

  • If investors trust you, there is better access to capital and market value is impacted positively.

To sum up from the PWC Trust Survey 2024  “Customers buy it, employees feel it and investors demand it.” Here’s a fun graph to really align to what we are saying and show what is at risk if we don’t begin to build and maintain trust.  

Leadership trust impacts the bottom line
Risk if stakeholders don't trust their company

Trust Gap

Leadership Trust Gap

We know we have a trust deficit, so let’s look at what is causing this. As with all things, let’s start at the top, because that cascades down and through the ripple effect it is what is felt by employees, customers, and investors. The survey outlines that execs trust senior leadership 53%, but the degree with which C-suite trust peers is lower at 44%.

C-Suite Trust Gap

This is saying that ultimately the C suite doesn’t trust each other enough, but they are also not trusting their decisions of who they are putting in place in a senior leadership positions. This leads back to 1 simple thing; these Leaders are not trusting in themselves.

Trust in ourselves is an important ingredient to fostering trust in the workplace. This is the energy follows energy principle. You can see this in action in the table below, there’s not a large difference in the numbers. This is stemming from the behaviours at Leadership level being the role models for the organisation.

Leadership trust
Leadership trust in organisation


Bridging the Trust Gap

It starts with Leadership, then it cascades down.

Check Your Behaviours - How many times growing up did you hear your parents say, “do as I say not as I do?”, or was that just me? This applies to your work situation as well. All of our non verbal cues show our teams the way. If they hear you saying the opposite of what you are doing, you’ve immediately broken the trust foundation as you have created confusion! Role modelling is such an important skill for leaders. Role model the behaviours you want to see in your organisation.

Be Vulnerable – You are not expected to have all the answers or get it right all the time. It is why you have so many interesting, talented people in your organisation. Ask for help, speak about your feelings, your concerns. Chances are all your teams, and team members are feeling it anyway. Give voice to it and make it normal, so they can feel normal. Chances are by doing this, you dispel a lot of pressure for all of you and you have empowered others to come up with great solutions.  

Know You and Your Zone of Greatness – Understanding where you make Impact aligned to business outcomes from a data perspective (GC Index) and doing the inner work of really understanding what you bring to the table means you can always be working in your highest level of engagement and productivity. This means that from a data lens you have a grounded point to trust yourself. By the way, we believe you are great, it’s all within you, let it out.

Learn About Your Teammates and Their Zone of Greatness – Understanding your teammates, your team and your organisation from a data lens of Impact aligned to a business outcome (GC Index) starts to shift how you can operate as a collective. It also starts to foster trust based on a definitive data set.

Transparency & Honesty – This should go without saying and there is lots about this everywhere. I think it really deeply links to being vulnerable as well.

Create Rituals to Connect – You don’t trust random strangers, familiarity breeds trust. Create team rituals both online and in real life where you can connect and really get to know people, understand them at a pure human level.

Celebration rituals are important as well. When we all get together to celebrate big milestones there is a sense of camaraderie and connection that builds trust because we all did it together.

Key ones I have used in organisations and in teams these can all be remote:

  • Daily stand up – start with breathing or meditation. This connects you to you first and then the group. Sharing an experience connects. Talk about what is happening for you area for the day, what you are looking to achieve, where you might be blocked. Using things like Kanban boards is helpful for transparency.

  • Cuddle Calls (Weekly) – This is a space I created purely for the team to let out whatever emotions are happening. There was no discussion of work, creating a safe space to discuss feelings, emotions and what we feel challenged by is powerful as again we no longer feel alone.

  • W(h)ine & Cheese (Weekly) – Whine about what you are cheesed off at whilst drinking wine and eating cheese. People tend to have their whine and then as a group they naturally come up with solutions and they feel better and it’s created collaboration on a topic.

  • Retrospectives – a chance to reflect on What Went Well and next time it Would Be Even Better If we did this. It starts to show you the way of what’s really working for you as a team and what you need more of. It gives you the opportunity to understand what didn’t work but how would you do it next time. This eliminates the blame game, because it is offering ideas of how you could do it differently in a positive light.

Bridging the trust gap doesn’t need to be difficult, in fact it can be fun and the rewards of doing so are very clear! Happy customers, gleeful investors, loving customers who rave about you and a robust bottom line!

If you are ready for that robust bottom line, if you are ready to create strong trust foundations, then get in touch and let us use data, science and woo to help you create a high vibe organisation that is loved and trusted by all! It’s a Trustfall Baby!

In the words of P!nk “Jump with me, come with me, burn like the sunWe'll talk, then we'll cry, then we'll laugh 'til we're done”

Lots of love & sparkles



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