Trust, the base of everything

No matter if I am working with doctors, global project managers, scrum masters, the women immigrated to Sweden from the Middle East or Africa, accountants, it doesn’t matter most of the time their issues deal with trust. In the past as a leader for a global organization I believed trust was something I build up via the time and effort I invested in the relationships I had created. I knew that creating and maintaining relationships and with that trust was done differently across cultures (as for example described by Erin Meyer at an Insead blog post) and thought I was doing a good job. I still think it is one of my strengths, but I have come to recognize that other elements than my relationship building competences do play a big role as well. Acquiring international projects means my potential client needs to trust me I will do a good job. Having a good relationship with them counts of course, but initially their main focus is on my skills and competences in the field they hire me for, my Ability so to say. Once they have seen the added value I create their attention moves to other issues. For example how consistent I am in delivering on time and taking responsibility if things do not completely turn out as I said they would be. Their trust in me increases further when I am Dependable. Working with sensitive topics linked to values, being Believable is also very important. I need to make sure that whatever I help others to see and understand as possibilities when working with diversity I show myself as well. Trust is built through the intentional use of specific behaviors that, when repeated over time, create the condition of trust. And yes, these behaviors differ across cultures, but the core issues, being Able, Believable, Connected and Dependable do not. This ABCD way to look at trust is designed by the Ken Blanchard company, and although American and not global, I do recommend it as long as you keep in mind how to translate the behaviors to the local cultures.