On a + note


The power of trust. #40: 2013

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on October 7, 2013

kitty#40Trust is a very simple but also a very powerful word.

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 can’t see but 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:

  1. 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
  2. Conditional trust is a formal, written agreement outlining expectations if services or products are not delivered  e.g. a tender for service agreement
  3. 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 child i.e. if you clean your room, I will not ground you!

So, why is trust essential in library land? First, we need to trust that the library board will make the very best decisions for the library. 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 staff will provide great customer service. If management doesn’t invest time to create, model, and nurture 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 with everyone riding off in all directions. However, when the board and employees trust each other, it 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 about building and nurturing trust.

Kitty Pope                                                                                               #40 September 2013

kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

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