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Trust ... and lack of it has an emotional cost to all parts of a boarding community. As the boardingologist writes, it is time to look at ways in which low trust can be minimised so that we can all achieve our potential.

I start with a quote that says it all really ......

“I could give you a dictionary definition of trust but you know it when you feel it.”

Stephen Covey : Speed Of Trust

What do you think ? I could continue this article by looking at the actual defintion of trust but for a moment take some time to reflect on your day, your month. It is true to say that trust is a human feeling , some say that you can't really teach people how to trust and it comes from the inside out. As a coach, I would say that you can diagnose the level of trust in your organisation from stepping back and taking a look at the outside and the ways in which people interact with each other. To get you started , answer the following questions

Who do you trust ?

What makes you trust them ?

Do you trust your boss or immediate line manager?

Do you trust your team ?

Do you trust the boarders in your house ?

Who trusts you ?

In short .... you know who trusts you ! and who does not ....

When we think of the answers to these questions, emotions come into play. If there is low trust in a community or within any relationship negative emotions come into play, stress comes into play, people become suspicious and it defeats the productive work that we could be doing to empower each other and our boarders. We second question our decisions and worry about the outcomes. Boarding is a 24-7 lifestyle choice and you become more tired as term draws on so small things do matter.

In boarding , your team are your competitive edge. You are are all at the front line of boarding and every interaction that you have sends a message.

So here are three ways to move all of us to a higher level of trust.

  1. Build confidence. Take time to watch and praise your team... the small things really do count. If you get a chance to pop in to boarding for a coffee and a chat , take the time to support your new and old staff and it will pay dividends later. Pay attention to key things ..... for your staff and boarders.
  2. Give them space and understanding.Without the pressure, perceived or otherwise, they will perform more that they would have done before. Notice their reactions and ask open questions to understand
  3. Give it time. Trust takes a while to build up and can be easily broken- if your team has low trust they are not going to wake up overnight feeling completely different. Small steps that allow progress is key- there will be a turning point for the people involved as time goes on.

Trust is important, needs time to develop and is a critical leadership skill. However, as a professional ... do you want your colleagues to spend energy watching their backs or be a team that are excited, confident and are up for the challenge of success.

It is up to you ..... and the sooner you start , the sooner trust levels go up.

So as Covey would say ' trust changes everything' and  there is “Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust.”