In Building Trust, Actions…Speak Louder Than Words!

“We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone--but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” —Walter Anderson.

In his book The Speed of trust Steven M.R. Covey says:

There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, and civilizations throughout the world, one thing which if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love.

On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time.

That one thing is trust.

I have for a long time said to those I work with and to my family and friends if you want to get a good feel for whether or not you can trust someone…Don’t go by what people say. Instead go by, judge their trustworthiness, by what they say and what they do. Now obviously you need to observe the total picture before you can make a realistic assessment when it comes to trust. Trust impacts us 24/7 365 days a year. It is important to understand that trust permeates all we do. So when assessing trust it’s crucial to always consider the persons actions, because their actions always, and I means always, speak louder than their words. Trust, but verify those words spoken by former President Ronald Reagan, comes to mind.

Words are powerful and have great effect on us as we interact with people. Words can inspire us, or they can destroy us. Words and what being said only accounts for 7% of what actually transpiring between people as they interact. How you say what you say accounts for about 38%. Your non-verbal communication accounts for 55%. Clearly actions speak much, much louder than words.

Yes I know we all are hypocrites at times, we all fall short but I am not talking about a mistake or you just could not come through with what you said you would do, despite your best efforts. What I am talking about are those folks who intentionally tell you one thing and intentionally DO AN OTHER. When I observe this type of behavior “What is this person’s motive, is the critical question that comes straight to my mind? The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted, as Mahatma Gandhi said. No truer words have been spoken in my humble opinion.

It took me a great part of my adult life to realize this important attribute and now that I have learned to recognize it, I understand’ who actually does work hard and who actually does give a damn about their job. Who actually does their job, well and who does their job poorly. Who you can trust and who you cannot trust. Who is telling me what they think I want to hear verses telling me candidly and frankly what they think. And we could go on and on about what it means to actual observe people whose actions match their words.

Don’t be paranoid about this and start sneaking around like a fly on the wall, but do be aware. Great things happen when people truly trust each other.

It's easier than ever to listen in, to hear what your customers say about you, to read what your friends are posting, to eavesdrop. Keep surveying your employees, tap their phone lines, and hang out in a stall in the break room...

If you try hard enough, you can hear what people are saying about you behind your back.

The thing about the fly on the wall, though, is at the end of the day, he spends a lot of time eating dung.

What people say isn't always what they mean. It's more productive to watch what they do.

Seth Godin’s recent, blog “The Fly on the Wall” that got me on this short rant because I believe we in policing have a crisis of trust. The brotherhood policing once shared is in disarray and if you cannot trust one another there’s going to be trouble. Yes I AGREE sometimes people screw up and what people say is not always what they mean. However when what they say, is always the opposite of what they do, TAKE HEED!!! It’s not all dire when it comes to trust. Steven M.R Covey also says; “I am also convinced that in every situation, nothing is as fast as the speed of trust. And, contrary to popular belief, trust is something you can do something about. In fact, you can get good at creating it!”

Building Trust should be our top responsibility and it starts with our actions matching our words.

Stay Oriented!

Fred