A Coaching Power Tool Created by Ting Ting, Kat Chan
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.– Warren Buffett
There is a phase in Chinese idioms –
用人不疑疑人不用 – yírénbùyòng, yòngrénbùyí
When you employ or engage someone to work. Do not doubt or suspect the person’s ability or talent. If you suspect or doubt the person, do not use him.
Based on the Blanchard search, it indicated that 45% of employees say, “lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue in work performance’.
American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey (US) and The Yorkshire Building Society Trust Study (UK) reveal that half of the employees do not trust their bosses and do not think that their company is open and honest with them.
If trust is so important in the workplace. How can coaching help to build trust in the workplace? Let us explore further about Trust and Doubt.
Based on the Cambridge Dictionary
Trust is to believe that someone is good and honest and will not harm you, or that something is safe and reliable.
Without trust, a team without trust will never be a team. When there is doubt culture in the organization, it will create misunderstanding, batter over rights and responsibilities. Therefore, no matter how effective the organization vision or even strategy. Without trust, the organization will still be failed to achieve a desirable result.
Doubt is (a feeling) not being certain about something, especially about how good or true it is.
Having doubt is when that person is not sure about his/her own ability to judge. When one having doubt, it will delay the person’s performance and resulted in delaying of making an important decision and hence becoming procrastinate. On another hand, self-doubting can keeps a person in checking. It helps to motivate continuous learning and allows the person to do more checking about the facts and issue. Once the person has a clearer picture, trusting will gradually kick in.
Fear, everyone is afraid of the unknown. Imaging when staffs are working in a fear-based workplace. People will be wary and second-guessed on each other. Back-stabbing and accusation are common among co-workers.
Some common reasons that can kill trust for leaders.
- Always felt that employees are a letdown.
- Delegate a strict framework and task list while telling the employee exactly what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.
- Micromanage employees and dictation more about how to do the task and constantly ask for updates, status and progress.
- When tasks are not being done accordingly. The leader will insist on taking over the task or delegate the task to someone else.
- Withholds information and do not share information with the employee who is doing the job.
- Publicly blame employees for making the mistakes
- Taking employee credit as their own
- Ego-driven leadership
Some reasons that can kill trust for employees
- What if I’m not good enough for the job?
- What do my colleagues think of me
- Did I missed out any deadlines and can I complete it on time?
- Who’s the problem here? Is it me?
- Unrecognised and undervalued by the leader
- Suggestions and ideas are not being ignored or misinterpreted as criticisms
- Loss of job
- Not being perceived as a team player
- Doubt about the leader’s potential and skills
- Comparison and competition about colleagues
Trust does not build in a day. There is no short-cut method and It will be required coaches and leaders to understand and learn how to build trust over time.
Some trust-building coaching strategies checklist for coaches and leaders.
- Listen more and ask the right questions.
- Do you jump into a conclusion after 5 minutes conversation?
- Do you ask long and complicated questions?
- Do you often ask a leading question?
- Empathy listening
- Do you understand the difference between empathy and sympathy listening?
- Do you interrupt unnecessarily?
- Do you use open-ended questions?
- Take no one for granted
- Do you take the client’s feeling for granted?
- Do you think that the client has taken you for granted?
- Do you assume that “solution” will come eventually?
- Honesty is the best policy
- Do you understand the client’s perspective and their goals?
- Do you dare to challenge their thoughts?
- Are you suspicious about your client’s thought that stopped you for being honest to your client?
Coaching Questions for the leader
- As a leader, how do you practise behaviours that foster, encourage and empower trust?
- What behaviours are your team displayed that build trust?
- How transparent with your communication?
- Does your team understand your plan and know your means of measurement?
- Would your team agree with this statement? You have never lied to them?
- Do you trust yourself as a leader?
- Do you really care?
- What caused you to doubt?
Coaching questions for employees
- Does your manager create a trusting and open environment?
- Does your manager believe in your judgement?
- Does your manager treat everyone equally in your team?
- What does a happy workplace culture look like to you?
- Are you being recognized for your recent accomplishment?
- Do you feel comfortable providing feedback to your manager?
- Does your manager help you grow and develop professionally?