How To Gain People's Trust and Get Buy-In
According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, only one in five people believes business leaders tell the truth and make ethical and moral decisions.
Because employees across demographics tend to distrust business and business leaders, they’re less likely to quickly adopt new thinking and follow through on new ideas. Only
when you find a way to gain people’s trust and get more buy-in can speed become your competitive advantage.
Here are the steps you can take toward greater transparency and destruction of cynicism, things you can do that will make a huge impact by fostering openness among your team.
Connect the Dots: Everyone who works for you should know how their role creates value for the company. They should especially learn the economic value they create and how it can be measured (by you and them).
Stop All the “Closed-Door” Nonsense: In most instances, policies like keeping secrets, operating with a “need to know” mentality and asking people to sign nondisclosure greements have gone over the top and exist only to confer special status on a few, to let them feel more special than the people they lead. This practice perpetuates the hierarchical BS machine the company has built. Such people’s secrets, not their accomplishments, are the only things that allow them to feel important. You can’t have transparency when paranoia is an integral part
of the culture and everything’s hush-hush.
Make Every Directive Clear: Transparency starts with clarity. A great step toward transparency in any organization is to say, “I don’t know” when you don’t know. Ask your team or fellow leaders for help or feedback. If you need time to formulate clarity of strategy, say so!
Keep It Simple: Physicist Michio Kaku believes that scientists must keep everything simple. He recommends that his peers accept Einstein’s directive: “If you can’t explain a theory to a child, it is probably worthless.” That’s good advice for everyone in business too.
Make It Okay to Make Mistakes: Making mistakes isn’t a sign of poor leadership — and allowing your team to make, report and learn from mistakes in a united, fast-moving environment is a sign of great leadership. Fast companies gain velocity by making it okay to make mistakes,
by being careful to learn from their failures.
End the Spin: Most people have great BS meters and are smart enough to know when they are hearing something authentic and when they are getting snowed. Every time you spin the truth or deceive them, you make them a little more cynical. In our nanosecond culture, you are
better off being known as an honest, straight shooter than an evasive, double-talking politician.
Thank People for Their Vigilance: College students are 10 times less likely to cheat when they can see themselves in a mirror. In business, the concept of the mirror is one of the powerful tools for getting things done right faster; 360-degree feedback is a great mirror, as is the
offsider (the trusted associate who will tell you your baby is ugly). Best of all is a boss who has a direct line encouraging straight talk about everything.