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2017 Mar – Trust Peaks Performance

March 2017

Written by Evelyn D. Brooks, MSM, PMP, SSGB

What is trust? According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, trust is “an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something and one in which confidence is placed.” Trust effects, performance, and cost. When trust goes down, performance will also go down, and costs will go up and vice-versa. As an example, you have an organization with multiple groups who need to use the same system, but because of their lack of trust in one another, each has purchased and now manages their individual systems, rather than share. As a result, the cost and management for two of the same systems have increased the company’s operation budget, and they now have fewer employees to perform other business work.

This fact is a no-brainer. So why do so many managers make these types of costly decisions? Well, let us look at the definition of trust again. Could it be that in the past someone has shown themselves not to be reliable, or demonstrated their inability to do their job well or consistently? These are a just few characteristics of someone who is not worth trusting.

When you are trusted, this means that someone believes in you, that you have the wherewithal, skills, and competencies to do what is expected of you. A trusting manager or leader will give team members room to grow and perform their duties comfortably. A non-trusting leader has the tendency to check on staff’ progress too frequently, looks over their shoulders consistently, or questions every move they make or the information that they provide. People perform best when they are trusted. Trust creates a sense of responsibility. People need to be able to believe that their others will follow the rules and policies, do their due diligence, meet deadlines, and not take shortcuts that put others and the organization at risks. When you know and care that others trust you for something, you tend to want to do everything that you can (ethically speaking) to not let them down.

Who within your organization do you trust and are you trustworthy?

  • SCOPE CHANGE – Any change to the project scope. A scope change almost always results in changes to either the project cost or schedule or both.
  • SCOPE CREEP – Adding features or functionalities (scope) without determining the impact on the project’s cost and schedule or without authorized approval.
  • SCOPE DEFINITION – It is the process used to create the project scope statement, that will be used to make project related decisions.
  • SCOPE VERIFICATION – This is the process used to perform acceptance of completed project deliverables.

Tips/TricksWhen it Comes to Integrity, Honesty is the Best Policy

Integrity is a beautiful thing. A project manager or someone responsible for making decisions relies on useful and accurate information. Most often, that information is provided by their team members and subject matter experts. Whenever call upon to share input on any topic, it is best to use tact and tell it like it is. Give it to them straight! Despite how unfavorable the situation may be, be honest. Don’t minimize or over exaggerate in an attempt to make oneself or the situation appear to be more favorable. In addition to providing honest but unfavorable feedback, submission of realistic solutions is very much appreciated.

Mistrust develops when people put on airs or pretend to be something that they are, or the situation is not. Sincerity is a primary component for establishing meaningful relationships, personally and professionally. People would much rather deal with someone who can be trusted, individuals who have integrity and leaves the right impressions. According to Stephen M.R. Covey, below are a few ways to increase your integrity.

  • Genuinely try to be honest
  • Walk the talk
  • Be open to learning new truths
  • Be consistent
  • Keep your commitments

* Please share other things that you do to build trusting relationships, personally and professionally.

“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
~Mahatma Gandhi
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