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The Trust Gap In Leadership

If It Is Not Overcome, It Will Absolutely Prevent Success

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 4 months ago 6 min read

One of the most powerful tools that Leaders have at their disposal is to hire amazing people to help their organizations thrive.

However, I find there is a common problem here.

It can be really easy to find amazing hires.

Many organizations can paint pictures of a beautiful desire to grow and change culture.

For new hires, it can make them excited and want to be a part of something different.

But when these new hires start, they find that perhaps things are not what they hoped.

They want to make changes and are told no.

They have ideas that could be helpful and are not heard.

At every turn, their progress is halted.


It is the Trust Gap.

These new individuals have not yet earned Trust, and Leaders are hesitant to make the changes that are requested without having established Trust.

It causes issues on both sides.

The Leader likely is juggling multiple items and struggling to keep them all in the air.

The New Hire becomes frustrated and feels powerless to accomplish goals.

The Leader becomes a bottleneck in the organization and gains more Stress.

The New Hire becomes a "Yes" person.

Resentment builds on both sides.

No one is used to their fullest extent.

It's a bad situation for everyone involved.

So what do you do about it?

Clarify Expectations

One of the biggest problems I see within this is that different parties have different expectations of each other.

However, neither party "actually" understands what the other expects!

It leads to no one's expectations being met, and both sides become upset about it!

Simply because the Expectations haven't been agreed to.

Sometimes, it is because whoever hired the New Employee had a different understanding than the Leader in charge of the New Employee.

It could be that Expectations needed to change due to the nature of business, but no one mentioned what the changes needed to be!

There is also the issue that often people are so busy that they go "straight" into the work that needs to get done without creating any plans or expectations around the work.

In those situations, the onboarding process is something like, "This is how you do X and Y. Got it? Great! I need to take care of Z."

Then that is it!

It generally isn't that whoever onboarded didn't "want" to go further, rather everyone gets so "busy" that they don't stop long enough to realize what might be missing.

In any of these situations, often pausing things long enough to have a straight discussion about Expectations is powerful.

It makes it much easier if you make this very clear.

"Hey, I want to talk to you about my/your current Expectations. I am under the impression that X is what is Expected - is that correct? If not, what am I missing?"

Getting straight to it like that can help eliminate confusion and get clarity much more quickly.

Understanding Perspectives

Another challenge that I often see here is that we each have different perspectives.

It usually isn't that one is "right" or "wrong", rather we see what we are Focused on (a part of our Psychology), but we are all Focused on different things!

This can be detrimental when we fail to understand what others are Focused on.

However, when we DO know what other people are Focused on, this becomes a Superpower.

The different Focuses when combined can create a better picture for everyone to look at.

However, it requires one person or the other to stop thinking about themselves and dive as deeply into the other person's Perspective as possible.

The more you listen to the other person's Perspective and the better you show how well you understand it, the more likely it is that they will then listen to your Perspective.

Agree On Priorities

When we talk about the Trust Gap, it isn't always that Leaders don't want their New Employees to work on the solutions they are presenting.

Rather, sometimes it is more of a problem of timing.

Perhaps the New Hire does have fantastic ideas that could create great change.

The Leader, however, has something more pressing that needs to be resolved first.

It could be something as simple as a budget constraint.

Or it could be a matter of where the people resources need to be spent at a specific time.

Many times frustration comes, not because the solution can't be done, but rather because we don't know "why" it can't be done now.

This means that if we can discuss what the organizational priorities are, we can understand "why".

Sometimes, we may also find an opportunity here.

When people know what the priorities are they may be motivated to help on the priorities to get to their ideas for solutions faster.

Keeping everyone on the same page can solve a lot of misunderstandings and help create quicker solutions.

Look For Trust Opportunities

Within the realm of Trust, we all understand it must be earned.

However, we will often find a problem with initiating opportunities to earn Trust.

Either Leaders are hesitant to give opportunities, or New Hires are hesitant to take them.

We can all look for opportunities to gain higher levels of trust.

Usually, if we start small, it can help the momentum get started.

A little Trust can go a long way.

Look to give/take opportunities as often as possible.

The faster Trust is built, the quicker the Momentum gets moving, then the faster we can get toward the goals we are looking for.

Decrease Dis-Stress

A final thing to always be cognizant of is that All Stress Adds.

Whether it is Stress for the New Hire or Stress for the Leader, most of us are deep in Dis-Stress, if not Burnout.

So, look for opportunities to decrease the Stress.

It is hard to see potential futures when we are so trapped in the moment of Dis-Stress.

When we really try to help remove the Dis-Stress that occurs, wherever we are able, we allow our minds to open up to potential.

When we solve Dis-Stress, it aids in creating better Trust.

When people can rely on you to help them De-Stress and make work and life better, bonds form quickly.

With those bonds, a world of opportunity will present itself.

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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (400+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

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