UACES Facebook Leadership Lunch and Learn: Managing for Trust
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Leadership Lunch and Learn: Managing for Trust

by Lisa Davis - August 30, 2021

What is trust? Dr. Suzanna Windon, an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, shared her thoughts on the topic during the latest Leadership Lunch and Learn webinar held on August 25, 2021.Dr. Suzanna Winton-Managing for Trust

According to her research, trust is:

  • Willingness to be vulnerable,
  • Willingness to engage cooperative behaviors when interacting with others,
  • A choice behavior, and
  • An assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Trust is an anchor in every successful collaborative team. She suggested to conduct a self-assessment to determine where your actions are eroding people’s trust in you.

How often do you engage in trust-busting communication? These include:

  • Not listening.
    • Ask people for input but then ignore their ideas?
    • Interrupt or prepare your own response while others are talking?
  • Trying to save time at the expense of others.
    • Fail to include all who are involved in a situation?
    • Address criticism when it is most convenient for you, without considering how the timing affects others?
  • Saving one thing but doing another.
    • Tell one group to do something that conflicts with that you have told others?
    • Fail to follow through with an announced plan of action?
  • Gossiping.
    • Exaggerate the facts?
    • Share information that isn’t helpful or necessary?

Windon provided four tips to build trust. They are:

  1. Understanding trust. She said there are three qualities of communication through words and actions: care, character, and competence.

  2. Monitoring your reactions. Examine how you react to difficult situation and be aware of what pushes your buttons.

  3. Addressing concerns. Most people tend to avoid confrontation. She suggested having the courage to address concerns builds trust and is an important component of competent leadership.

  4. Saying “thank you.” A final way to build trust is to develop an attitude of gratitude. She suggested that you recognize people’s involvement and thank them in a variety of ways including hand-written thank you notes.

View the recording of the presentation here. In addition, to further develop your skills that build trust download the workbook shared by Windon.

The next session in the Leadership Lunch and Learn series will take place at 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 29 and will feature “Working with Gen Z” by Hanan Douglas, the Miller County 4-H Extension agent.