Feeling like a shadow of your former self? Is there a lack of emotional connection in your relationships? Do you find others not sharing important information with you or excluding you from activities? If so, you might be suffering from Low T. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Millions of well-intentioned leaders experience Low T at some point in their career. It’s a treatable condition but it requires leaders to understand the causes Low T and how to avoid them.
Causes of Low Trust [Low T]
Trust is an essential ingredient in healthy relationships and organizations. It allows people to collaborate wholeheartedly with one another, take risks and innovate, and devote their discretionary energy to the organization. However, there are certain behaviors and characteristics of people who experience Low T in the workplace.
- Taking credit for other people’s work
- Not accepting responsibility
- Being unreliable
- Not following through on commitments
- Lying, cheating
- Gossiping or spreading rumors
- Hoarding information
- Not recognizing or rewarding good performance
Treating Low Trust [Low T]
Reversing Low T requires understanding the four elements of trust and using behaviors that align with those elements. The four elements of trust can be represented by the ABCD Trust Model:
Able – Demonstrate Competence. Leaders show they are able when they have the expertise needed for their job. They consistently achieve results and facilitate work getting done in the organization. Demonstrating competence inspires others to have confidence and trust in you.
Believable – Act with Integrity. Trustworthy leaders are honest with others. They behave in a manner consistent with their stated values, apply company policies fairly, and treat people equitably. “Walking the talk” is essential in building trust in relationships.
Connected – Care About Others. Being connected means focusing on people, having good communication skills, and recognizing the contributions of others. Caring about others builds trust because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Dependable – Maintain Reliability. Dependable leaders follow through on their commitments. They respond timely to requests and hold themselves and others accountable. Not doing what you say you will do quickly erodes trust with others.
Do You Have Low T?
Take our online quiz to help you find out if you may have Low T.
Don’t Settle for Leading with Low T
Too many leaders settle for leading with Low T because they don’t understand how trust is actually formed in relationships. Trust doesn’t “just happen,” as if through some sort of relationship osmosis. Trust is built over a period of time through the intentional use of trust-forming behaviors. Good leaders focus on using trust-building behaviors and avoid using behaviors that erode trust.
There may be a difference between ‘doing’ trustworthy, and ‘being’ trustworthy. High T means having integrity at your very core… ‘Being’ trustworthy. People are smart enough, specially in the longer term, to see through people pretending to be trustworthy, by just acting the skills if, in reality, their intention is just to be liked, get a promotion etc.
You are spot on, Hilary. Trust involves both doing and being, both character and competence. You have to have both and it has to come from a place of genuineness and authenticity.
Thanks for sharing your insights!
Low T, catchy phrase Randy. Being trustworthy is not talked a lot today with leaders, more about giving the appearances of “you can trust me”. So giving us ideas on “reversing Low T” are good reminders how we relate to people everyday! Also, remembering that trust is earned. Thanks for calling our attention to developing trust!
Thanks for your comments Gary. It can be difficult for people to talk about “Low T” in the workplace but it needs to be done!