From Fear To Faith

Posted February 2, 2013 by Kristi Royse in On the Ladder
From Fear To Trust

This is the fifth, and final, in a series of blog posts in which we talk about various facets of fear, how it impacts the workplace, and how (and why) we, as women in leadership roles, need to change fear into trust.

Stepping Out Of Fear And Into A Corporate Culture Of Trust

Webster’s definition of faith: “noun, 1) Belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of someone or something. 2) Loyalty or allegiance.” From the Latin, “fides”, meaning faith, trust and loyalty.

If you are experiencing…

  • a disengaged work staff,
  • unmotivated employees,
  • a high turnover rate among your people and,
  • employee competition and mean-spirited, vindictive behavior

…then it’s likely that you are allowing fear to rule your workplace, and you may not even realize it.

In the Fear Series, I have talked about fear in general, and specifically, fear of conflict, fear of commitment, and fear of failure, and how these fears affect the workplace, teams, leaders, and ultimately, success.

Trust Conquers Fear

The one element that has the capability to overcome all of these fears is trust.

As simple as the idea of trust may seem, more often than not we fail to exercise it on a day-to-day basis within the workplace.  It’s hard work. It requires taking the time to truly invest in people long enough, and with as much effort as is necessary, to create vulnerability in our working relationships.  Authentic trust creates an open, vulnerable environment in which conflict, commitment, and failure are all embraced.

It is especially critical for leaders to have the trust of their people.  Teams and employees must be able to feel comfortable, supported, and understood when working with their leaders.

When trust is present, people:

  • do not fear they will be rejected as a result of speaking their minds
  • are willing to take more risks
  • are willing to be open and honest with coworkers and leaders
  • push themselves further, knowing they have the support of their coworkers and leaders
  • have greater commitment to the work at hand and the company as a whole
  • are loyal to coworkers and to the company itself

This trust creates greater team cohesion, leading to greater:

  • productivity
  • efficiency
  • concern for the company
  • appreciation for new ideas and creative thinking

Moving Forward: Trust Becomes Growth

Once a company begins to embody and embrace the value of trust, growth occurs.  Relationships begin to develop and people are more engaged. Higher levels of efficiency are reached and teams begin to thrive.  All employees are committed to their work, their leaders, and their companies.

Leaders and companies who understand this trust equation go farther, faster, and have more fun doing it.

As we close the chapter on fear, I leave you with this thought:

The culture of your company cannot be transformed unless you are committed to not only change, but to growth itself.  Ask yourself, “Do I truly value growth enough to do the work to make it happen?”, while keeping in mind that growth can only occur when trust is a priority.

From me, to you, this is a call to action – Leaders, boldly create a culture of trust within your company.  You have an incredible opportunity to take your business from good to great, great to excellent, and excellent to thriving.

What are steps you can take today to begin changing the culture of your company?  How can trust be embraced on a moment-by-moment basis within your teams? Do you have stories to share of how trust changed your corporate culture?

About the Author

Kristi Royse

Kristi believes that leaders create success by inspiring their people to greatness through vision, communication, trust and teamwork, and that female leaders are uniquely positioned to develop this greatness in themselves and others. CEO of KLR Consulting, Kristi is a nationally-recognized speaker, executive coach, facilitator, management consultant, and trainer. Since 1987, Kristi has been coaching executives to be stronger leaders and helping organizations optimize their most vital resource - people.