How do You Build Trust During a Crisis

Synopsis of an article published in Root by on June 22, 2020

Global communications firm Edelman produce a regular report on Trust in Institutions, Edelman Trust Barometer. The Spring 2020 update, shared results of a survey taken by people in 11 countries from April 15‒23. What is interesting is that the survey was conducted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and government trust rose 11% to 65% (this is an all time high in the 20 years the study has been run). But only 38% of people believe business is doing well or very well at putting people before profits and only 39% believe that business is doing well or very well at protecting employees financial wellbeing. Only 29% believed that CEOs were doing an outstanding job dealing with the pandemic.

So Jim Haudan asks how do you build that trust in a crisis?

  1. Re-prioritize and live your organization’s values.
    He starts by pointing out that values are the “backbone for culture of the organisation”. You need to own and talk to your values regularly, they are the guide rules for how you empower employees, the basis of decision making and what leadership stands for.

It remains critical that senior leads walk the talk with values, they must demonstrate that they own the values, very publicly behave in line with the values and do not tolerate actions of those that don’t.

  1. Make the stories you tell personal.
    “Gary Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry, has regularly sent letters to his friends and clients since March. Each letter provides insights, wisdom, and advice, and begins with an impactful personal story. “

Personal stories are the connection between the leaders and their lived experience, they provide a context to how and when different work needs to get done – and needs to get done differently.

“Everyone is a leader” and to be a strong leader you need to connect with the team and be willing to express emotion and demonstrate vulnerability.

Your people may admire your intellect and analytical skills, but they will trust you when they can connect to your humanity.”

  1. Embody the maxim “leaders eat last.”
    The principal that leaders put others ahead of themselves, supporting the shared interest of the firm and its employees and customers ahead of themselves.

“Trust capital is perhaps a business’ best insurance policy against crises, risk, and disruption today…(and) is also it’s best investment toward driving positive business impact tomorrow.”

It will be nearly impossible to deal with the crisis if your team doesnt trust your leadership.

Read the full article here:

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