How Do I Build Trust? Be Clear!

[The following is an excerpt from TrustED®: The Bridge to School Improvement]

It may be thought, and generally perceived by many, that trust is a “soft skill.” David Horsager, in his best-seller, The Trust Edge, reveals that this is far from the truth. He states that “… trust is not a soft skill. It is a measurable competency that brings dramatic results. It can be built into an organization’s strategy, goals, and culture.” He goes on to illustrate that, “Trust is tangible, learnable, and measurable. Trust is not simply a dish in your leadership buffet. It is the table holding up the smorgasbord of talent demonstrated by your team every day.”

Trust is a critical skill for a successful business leader or school administrator, yet, for many, the intentional development, maintenance, and protection of a leader’s trust level may remain elusive and intangible. 

People trust the clear and distrust the ambiguous. When academic and achievement goals are clear and understandable, only then are they potentially attainable. When campus or program development visions of the future are specific and well-formed, only then will others be able to embrace and rally alongside the journey to that future. One study of public organizations found that, “…organizational goal clarity, public service motivation, and work impact can increase an organization’s mission valence. Also, the findings validate the importance of mission valence by illustrating its effect on two important human resource outcomes, job satisfaction, and absenteeism.”

For independent schools, if our mission and goal statements include our ethos and core values, clarity in purpose and direction has a direct impact not only on our faculty and staff but also on our students. Does ethical content within a school’s mission statement have a direct impact upon the school community? Yes!

One study endeavored to determine if universities explicitly state their moral values within their mission statements produced students with higher perceived character traits and behaviors… [continue reading]

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