The power of trust. #5: 3013
It is defined as: a confident expectation in someone or something OR a two-way reliance on the integrity, strength, or ability of a person or thing.
Trust is something you cannot see. You certainly can hear it and definitely can feel it. You especially can notice when it’s not present. It takes time to develop and nurture but only a second to throw away. Trust depicts a level of confidence in people or circumstance and exists when we share and nurture a common goal. Consequently, there is something to lose when trust is broken, and this creates tension in our personal and professional lives.
There are three basic types of trust:
- Negotiated trust is based in a formal, written agreement outlining the expectations of all parties, e.g. an employment contract or a pre-nuptial agreement.
- Conditional trust is a formal, written business agreement outlining expectations if services or products are not delivered and under what conditions noncompliance will be tolerated, e.g. a tender for service document.
- Unconditional trust is usually a verbal agreement where people agree to trust the word of each other, e.g. wedding vows or a promise to a friend or child (if you clean your room, I will not ground you!).
So, why is trust essential in library land?
● First, we must trust that, ultimately, the library board will make the very best decisions for the library. It all starts with our trust in them.
● As library leaders, we must trust employees as they do their jobs and interact with customers.
To be good library leaders, we need to trust that the board will make the very best policy decisions for the library, senior managers will make good procedural decisions, and coworkers will provide great customer service. If management doesn’t invest time in creating, modeling, and nurturing an environment of trust, nothing works! Without trust, board decisions become random, and employees feel lost and unappreciated. A lack of trust affects productivity, undercuts teamwork, and kills innovation. Employees become paranoid, start building their own empire, and ultimately set their own agenda. It devolves into the classic “everyone is riding off in all directions.” However, when the board and employees trust each other, it radically changes the relationship and empowers everyone to do their very best work. Trust opens doors, builds self-confidence, and engenders innovation and success. Ironically, trust builds trust.
Great library leadership is all about building and nurturing trust.
Kitty Pope #5 February 2013