Select Page

Do you trust your work team?

Does your work team trust you?

I am reading Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey (former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market), Raj Sisodia, and Bill George. The title caught my eye because I thought it was an oxymoron. So, I looked up the definitions of the words, conscious and capitalism. Conscious is defined as, “aware of and responding to one’s surroundings, awake”. Capitalism is defined as “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit”. John Mackey is a relatively conservative guy. He once lamented that “socialists are taking over”. I wondered how he could co-author a book like this. If you want the details, read the book and you’ll find out how the transforming power of open constructive dialog can change the hearts and minds of parties on both sides of a divide.

Mini spoiler alert: after a few encounters with protesters, he listened and gained a broader perspective. He is still conservative but more conscious of how the primary focus on profits could be detrimental to the environment, health, and employee morale among other things. This week’s blog will focus on how conscious leadership can build trust in the workplace.

We all know that building trust takes time. Simply asking or demanding that others trust you won’t do it. Trust is emotional and relational. It starts with actively listening because people want to be heard whether you agree with them or not. Clear your mind and be fully present. If you have a major difference of opinion, pause and reflect on what was said. Paraphrase what was said. Respond at the moment or wait until you can give a thoughtful empathetic response. Be authentic, honest, and transparent. Be vulnerable, you don’t know everything. Yet be courageous. Engage in small talk to learn more about team members’ interests. Under promise and over-deliver. Your word is your bond. Allow others to learn from their mistakes as well as admit yours. Nip gossip in the bud. Don’t allow team members to make negative comments about a person who is not present. They will think you condone it. Finally, pay employees equitably and allow them to benefit from the success of the organization if profit sharing is an option. The absolute best way to build trust is to be trustworthy. It starts at the top.

What are you doing to sustain trust among supervisors, peers, and subordinates?