Knowledge Management Institute

Building Relationships: Key to Organizational Trust

Building Relationships: Key to Organizational Trust

Apr 03, 2013  

Developing trust within an organization is crucial to its success, opening up the door for communication and ultimately, results. In order to drive out fear within an organization, trust must be developed and promoted. Are you willing to invest the time and resources to develop trust, ultimately improving your organization?

The most important aspect of developing trust is building relationships, a process which is going to take time. Although much easier to send out an email or newsletter to contact many people at once, it cannot replace actually getting to know a person face to face.

Do team members feel that they can have a conversation with those in leadership? Building relationships opens up the door for communication up and down within the organization, leading to more successful teamwork and ultimately more productivity.

Another way to drive trust within the culture is to ask questions. This opens the door for team members to talk about themselves, and about what they think. If you take the time to attentively listen once you ask the questions, it is easier to develop friendship and trust. In this way, team members know that they have the freedom to communicate, and that their input is valuable to the organization.

What makes individuals less likely to trust those around them? The FEAR of being judged by others. Although individuals, and leaders, do not have to agree on every point, it is important to respect other points of view. If an individual feels judged, they will no longer feel free to communicate with others, therefore hindering productivity, and ultimately promoting fear, rather than trust.

Do team members feel free to communicate what they believe without fear of judgment? In what ways can the culture within the organization be improved in order to remove the fear of judgment?

Is anyone being avoided because their opinion is not respected? Are they feeling judged because they have been excluded? An important part of building trust is making sure that nobody is excluded, making team members each feel like they are individually valued, and that they are all equally important. This will further open the door for honest communication within the organization.

Another way to drive trust within the community is to invite people to get involved. Often, they will be flattered that you think their input is valuable, and that you want them to be a part of something bigger. This also makes it easier for individuals to meet others who share the same goals as they do.

What can be done to make individuals feel like they are valued, that they play an important role? In what ways can individualism be embraced in order to form a more cohesive unit, while still achieving goals?

Creating a cohesive knowledge management strategy begins with positive interpersonal relationships.  Starting with the foundation of trust, eliminating fear, and your organization can thrive in the knowledge age.

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