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Is Trust the Most Important Workplace Competency?

The new Tom Cruise film American Made, released today, is ‘based on the unbelievable true story’ of an unbelievably untrustworthy man, Barry Seal.


A sacked TWA pilot-turned-drug-smuggler-turned-undercover-informant Seal double-crossed everyone he worked with. The result? Well… it wasn’t good.



The Key Leadership Competency


Trust is important. More of us want to work for trustworthy companies. More of us want the brands we use to have integrity and ethics.


In fact Stephen Covey – famed author of the must-read classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – reckons: ‘‘[Trust] is the key leadership competency of the new, global economy.”



Without it You’re Toast


But what about trust on a personal level? Well Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, writes:


“Trust is like oxygen in the workplace: we need it to survive. … Without it, you can cripple or destroy your career.” Why? Well, as Covey explains: “Simply put, trust means confidence.”



Are You a Suspicious Character?


Covey goes on to say: “When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them – of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record. It’s that simple.”


He’s even outlined his theories on the power of trust in his 2006 book The Speed of Trust, which covers a range of trust principles – including his 4 Cores of Credibility. So, today I want to ask: are you a trusted employee? Find out by answering the questions below.



So, Are You Credible?


Covey says credibility comes down to these two questions:


  • Do I trust myself?
  • Am I someone who others can trust?


And, that credibility is built on four ‘Cores’. These are: Integrity, Intent, Capabilities, and Results.


Integrity…  Covey asserts that integrity is more than simple honesty and is comprised of 3 elements:


  • Congruency – acting according to your values
  • Humility – Covey says, “A humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right…”
  • Courage – when you do what you know is right regardless of the consequences





Intent is how we know we should act. Again Covey breaks intent down to three things.


  • Motive – why you do what you do. (Clue: do you genuinely care about people?)
  • Agenda – the best agenda is honestly seeking what is good for others
  • Behaviour – is what we do based upon what we intend to do and what we are seeking to achieve



Capabilities (Competency)


Capabilities are “the talents, skills, knowledge, capacities and abilities that we have that enable us to perform with excellence.” Covey uses the acronym TASKS: Talents, Attitude, Skills, Knowledge, and Style to break it down:


  • Talents – are the things we naturally do well
  • Attitude – is how you see things
  • Sills – are the things you have learned to do well – not to be confused with talents, which are usually natural AND enjoyable, not just skill
  • Knowledge – is what you know and continue to learn
  • Style – is your unique way of doing things





Results are important, especially in the workplace. And, there are three areas of results on which people will use to judge your credibility:


  • First – your past results (the proof)
  • Second – your current results (what you’re doing now)
  • Third – your potential results (what you should accomplish in the future based on now and the past)



Final Thoughts


In fact one of Angel’s Core Values is Dependability – which is really another way of saying ‘trust’. Check out our Dependability post HERE – with more ideas and hacks on what it means to be trusted at work.


For more career support get in touch with Angel today!


Next Steps:


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