It took patience, but Bernard Dalichau, in this video also featured on Forbes, shares how he was able to cultivate an environment in which open communication became one of the driving forces of Lavender Home Care Solutions’ success.
Joe Calloway, an author of seven books on business performance, a keynote speaker, a consultant, and an advisor who helps great companies unlock their potential, says that great leaders are able to pave the way for a climate of trust through both communication and focus.
Clarity Starts With Honesty
One of the quickest ways to create an open and transparent culture is to always tell the truth as a business owner.
“Transparency, honesty, and always keeping your word are what make up the foundation of trust," agrees Joe. "Beyond that, I think that clarity is a key trust factor. When we make things complicated or confusing, the other person will quite naturally be thinking, ‘What does she really mean?’ or ‘I don’t understand what he’s trying to say to me.’”
When it’s the leader that is being unclear, then the consequences are negative or damaging to the team in terms of trust, morale, effectiveness, and performance.
Simplify the Complicated
“Great leaders have the ability to simplify, and to get everyone focused on a shared goal or vision,” adds Joe. The ability to seek clarity, get focused, and to communicate throughout that process is important when shaping a culture with a high degree of trust.
“Almost everyone will admit that they make things more complicated than they need to be. The CEO of one of my clients put it this way, ‘The price we pay for making things too complicated is immeasurable. It slows us down, makes for bad decisions, and scatters our efforts.’”
An organizational practice of making things simple is a huge advantage in many ways, argues Joe. “It not only increases effectiveness and efficiency, but simplicity is also a stress buster. One of a leader’s primary responsibilities is to simplify the complicated.”
Simplicity Is a Choice
“The late Steve Jobs of Apple put it this way: ‘Simplicity and focus have become my mantra. It’s not easy. You have to work really hard to get your thinking clean enough to make things simple. But the hard work is worth it because if you can make things simple, you can move mountains.’”
One of the easiest ways to create focused thinking is to have absolute clarity on the three things that you have to get right every single day with every customer. “One of my clients is a trucking company, and they have boiled [down] their incredibly complicated logistics-driven business into these three constant priorities: First, pick it up when you said you would; second, deliver it when you said you would; third, deliver it intact and all there,” he says.
This is where trust is powerful, providing clarity and focus for what is most important. "People aren’t second-guessing each other or looking over their shoulders wondering if they’re doing a good job,” adds Joe.
When people across the organization are clear on what it is that’s important, people can more easily build the trust necessary to form a well-functioning team. “If I know that I can depend on my teammates and they know that they can depend on me, that’s a climate of trust,” explains Joe.
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A version of this post originally appeared on Forbes.
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