Building Trust

With the recent worldwide success of the latest Marvel superhero movie, Captain America: Civil War, I thought it would be fun to discuss some nonprofit organization issues using the various superheroes as examples. It should prove to be both entertaining and hopefully educational as well.

If you have seen or are familiar with the most recent movie, Civil War, then you’re aware that the premise of the movie is that there’s dissension among our heroes, The Avengers. Half support a new law that requires the heroes to answer to the world’s governments for their marching orders and actions, while the other half of the team does not trust that the governments of the world would always act for the good of the people and thus do not want to be subjected to the new law.

To boil down the main point of the conflict is one word: trust.

Whether you are the organizational leader or just a member of a team at your place of employment, trust is one of the most important starting points in our jobs. If we can’t trust our co-workers, subordinates, or boss, then it is extremely difficult to work with or for others in a productive manner. Morale plummets and productivity suffers greatly. So, how can we prevent the deterioration of trust or bring it back once it has been broken?

Here’s a good place to start:

  • Talk Straight – honest, don’t manipulate, communicate clearly.
  • Respect – show you care, respect everyone and every role
  • Transparency – no hidden agendas, don’t hide information
  • Right the Wrongs – apologize, make restitution, swallow pride.
  • Show Loyalty – give credit, no bad mouthing behind the back, don’t share personal info.

If the Avengers had started with these points, the conflict may have been avoided. Likewise, in our organizations, we need to continually work on building and giving trust. The foundation of trust is vital to a successful organization and working together to accomplish our goals.

In my next blog, I’ll share more steps for building or rebuilding trust and even show how it connects to the most recent Marvel blockbuster.

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