Trust and Relationships

A Happy Coincidence?

I have always been a great believer in serendipity.  I suspect it is a word used in many different situations but, in the last 24 hours, there have been a number of events or things that I have heard that, while superficially disconnected, have all struck me as being connected to the same root – Trust.

The first event was work-related – a newly developed session, developed by one of our team at Coode, with Trust as a concept.  Intensely practical in nature, on its first outing it made a Group Executive Team truly consider the basis of their relationships and the way they functioned for the first time in over a year.

The second event was this morning’s ‘Thought for the Day’ on the BBC’s Radio 4.  On the day that the Prime Minister’s brother was to resign from the Conservative party, the Revd Dr Sam Wells presciently explored the concept of loyalty – was this divine inspiration?

Finally, my sister-in-law, whose birthday it is today, posted a link (her birthday recommendation) to a TedTalk by Robert Waldinger.  In it, he summarises the results of the longest-ever study of happiness and it is worth watching.  For 75 years Harvard has tracked and surveyed over 700 men from widely divergent backgrounds as they grow older.  Starting from age 19 there are now only 60 or so left alive.  The results are compelling and he sums them up as ‘the good life is built from good relationships’ and ‘good relationships keep us happier and healthier’.

What binds these three events together is Trust – obviously explicit in the first, but absolutely foundational to both loyalty and relationships.  Without trust, loyalty to a cause – or an individual – is fragile, cynical or self-serving, while a relationship lacking in trust will never be anything more than transactional.

Rebuilding the foundations

At Coode, our organisational purpose is to ‘put the humanity back into leadership’.   We help leaders and their teams to build trust through their actions and behaviours, recognising that all business is a fundamentally human activity built on relationships.  That in turn generates loyalty, commitment and belief.

Whether serendipity or divine inspiration brought about this linked series of events does not matter.  What is important, however, is that the febrile atmosphere in UK politics, along with the low degree of respect for business and institutions, is down to leaders who have lost the trust of both their peers, constituents or employees.

To regain trust, leaders will have to work on their humanity – not leave it to chance.



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