If trust was a superhero, what would he look like? What would he wear? Would he have tights and knee high boots? How about a cape that blows in the wind on the way to his next rescue? Would he fly or be able to leap tall buildings in a single step? What superpowers would he have? And who’s to say he’s a he, maybe he is a she?
Whatever the case, what if trust was a superhero? What if you could call on him when trouble hits the fan and you might suspect that lack of trust is the issue?
The unsurprising truth is that trust IS really a superhero.
It’s the hero we all need in relating to one another as human beings. It’s the hero that comes to the rescue when we need to really connect, to solve problems, to bounce around ideas, to challenge ideas and to have healthy conflict. It’s the foundational aspect required for understanding others, for having the freedom to say what we need to say, for having a true collaborative work environment and for bringing out the best in ourselves and those around us.
So how do you know if you need to give this superhero a call?
What signs will tell you that Trust the Superhero needs to pay a visit to your organization?
Trust may be lacking in your organization if:
- Competition amongst team members is more prevalent than encouragement and empowerment
- Leaders avoid conflict
- Team members share very little personally about themselves, in fact it’s encouraged to remain quite private
- Leaders and team members don’t hold each other accountable
- Generally decisions are made without buy in from the rest of the team
- There is a lack of commitment and buy in around new ideas or solutions to problems
- The organization is lacking a structured and effective feedback system
- Team members rarely speak up in meetings and avoid sharing what they really think
- Team members appear to be feeling overwhelmed but are not talking about it
- Cliques and social groups divide team members
- Team members gossip about other members behind their backs
- Leaders are more focused on the results of their team than the results of the organization as a whole
If you can relate to any of the above, you may have to call on Trust the Superhero to the rescue. And you can decide if this superhero is a woman or a man, whatever visual works for you! For the purpose of my story and since I get to choose in my own story, he’s a man…the image of a muscle bound hero is always a nice visual for the day! Hopefully I haven’t taken this superhero thing a bit far, I’m probably inspired by reading way too many Captain Underpants books lately to my son. But hey, you get the point! And hopefully you’ve had some fun.
So back to my story, Trust the Superhero…so you call on Trust the Superhero and how he helps you is with his super power, vulnerability.
Now hear me out, you may be having an adverse reaction to that word, especially if your organization is lacking vulnerability and trust.
In organization and work environment terms….the thing your organization needs to begin to strengthen the relationships between your leaders and team members and ultimately improve your overall results is vulnerability based trust. This truly is a superpower. And it allows for authentic, effective and strong relationships which help to build a sustainable and agile organization.
Vulnerability based trust means you are safe to allow yourself to be seen, authentically and wholly, and you are free to express thoughts and ideas that come from that. It’s also about creating this safe space for others, to respect and honour others enough so they feel safe to be authentic and show up as their complete and whole selves. It means we can argue now, we can debate on this and I may disagree with you, and this may be very uncomfortable, but afterwards we’ll be ok and I still respect and care about you as a human being.
So when Trust the Superhero comes and helps you, what changes might you experience?
This is what it may look like:
- As a leader I now step back in meetings and allow my team members to speak openly and challenge each other directly.
- Now that I’ve built trust with my supervisor, I now feel more free to share my ideas and also challenge hers if I feel we could generate a better result.
- I now feel respected by my colleagues and feel more empowered to develop myself and my skills.
- I now trust my team’s abilities and their contributions and no longer feel the need to micromanage.
- Our team meetings are definitely more energized and team members openly express their opinions. Now, even if there’s disagreement, we’re able to come up with a solution that’s best for our organization and we know we can always revisit that solution at a later time.
- I now feel that there’s support and resources available for me if I’m struggling with either a personal or professional problem.
- I feel more effective and inspired in my job now that I know my ideas are respected, heard and considered. I have a feeling of belonging now, where I can contribute to something bigger than me.
- I feel more motivated, engaged and fulfilled at work.
- As a leader I notice that my team members are generally happier to be at work and are better at working through any challenges that come up.
- As a leader I notice that our team meetings are definitely more spirited and lively, and sometimes quite heated. But we’re now able to get more team members to buy in and commit to ideas and we all now feel respected in the process.
So superheroes aside, how might you bring more trust into your organization? How could you encourage team members to have the courage to lean into vulnerability for the purpose of increasing trust between each other? One step further, how could you invest in your organization and join those of us who are trying to change the stigma around vulnerability and reward the courage to pursue it? Imagine the power within your teams and what they could produce if they could show up authentically and tap into the amazing potential they all have within themselves? There’s a gold mine in your team members and trust and vulnerability are the superpowers that will allow you to access it. Do you think it’s worth it?
I do. And I know it is.
Call on Trust the Superhero, you’ll be so glad to see him or her, I promise you!