Harnessing the power of culture of trust

Effective prioritization (3)

The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is the key professional and personal competency of our time.

– STEPHEN M.R. COVEY

Upholding any great teamwork environment is a culture of trust. For people to push together in the same direction, they need a motivating binding reason to put the team need’s first. In extreme situations, like danger, working together can sometimes be forced upon us by innate survival instinct which we realise is best met by working as an unit. Likewise in some negative pressure moments, like fear of job loss, the shared “fear” can sometimes enable people to work together, if they believe all jobs can be saved. However in both cases, the “stick” like pressure is unpredictable and it can just as likely be the case that individuals ditch the team if they believe their interests are better served alone. In short “stick” like  pressure can only bind people together for so long.

“Stick” like means of gaining trust don’t normally last long.

A far more long term creater of team work is the belief that serving the unit also serves oneself and this exists when people feel genuine trust. At the base of any culture of trust are the three pillars of trust: authenticy, empathy and logic which thbound together the interests and needs of the unit. Authenticity means your team won’t doubt your intentions, dismissing the need to think of one’s own interest first. Likewise being authentic means you will admit mistakes and not be afraid of showing weakness which also leads to trust. Empathy of course is needed as it communicates to the team that their feelings and emotions matter and won’t be ignored as without this, people’s more extreme emotions could drive them towards self interest. Finally logic is needed as ultimately we all trust things we understand and logic and reasoning fills this information gap. To create a culture of trust we will need to explain why sacrifice is needed or justify why a bad decision was made as without doing those people won’t trust that their interests are represented. People ultimately normally accept mistakes when they understand and emphathise with the human reason why it happened.

Authenticity, Empathy and Logic are three pillars of trust.

When we actively practice the three pillars of trust, all team members will be able to better understand the triangular relationship between: action, intention and impact. img_1467Usually trust first breaks down not because someone actually did something, but rather because others fear they did it. It is far easier to allow in this fear when team players aren’t authentic, as ultimately we trust less the people we don’t feel we know. Likewise an environment without empathy will mean people are wary of showing their weakness, hence less honesty and therefore reduced authenticity. And of course when we don’t understand the reasonings for things it far easier to jump to the assumption that people are doing something we don’t like, even when we don’t necessarily have the facts to confirm this.

A culture of trust allows the team to feel realtionship between action, intention and impact.

Another vital part of any trust envrionment is the exisistence and active adherance to communal values, ideally coming in some form from the company’s own value system. Values allow us to identify with something bigger than ourselves and hence be more willing to put ourselves second. A value understood and adhered to allows two individuals pushing for their own separate views to accept a third alternative way and it is knowing this third way exists that creates a culture of trust amoung a team. Ultimately individuals will never trust fully, if they feel someone else’s way is frequently put in front of their own. Team/Company values come in many forms and there is another blog post on this but what matters here is to understand that understood and practised company values like: tranparency of information, judging development as much as performance and willingness to admit when you made a mistake all contribute to a secure value system which in turn links the triangular relationship between actions, intentions and impact which is essential to trust.

A practised value system allows the team to see the connection between actions, intention and impact which in turn creates trust.

The most effective work environments are ones where people seamlessly work together . In many ways trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for all the different cogs to turn together and hence work in unision. Cog-peopleContrary to what most people believe, trust is not some illusive quality that people or team’s either have or don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that leaders and teams can create. Creating a culture of trust is hard work and requires continuous maintenance but it more than pays itself off in the longer term as studies continuosly prove trust contributes to higher productivity. Ultimately if you want your team to follow your lead, you need to invest into and maintain a firm culture of trust.

Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people.”

– STEPHEN R. COVEY

Part 9: Protect Your Finances

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Now that you’re well on your way to improve your finances, this is a good moment to evaluate how you have protected yourself financially. Take a couple of simple steps described below that will greatly ensure that the wealth you build and continue to accumulate will be safeguarded even in adverse situations or setbacks.

Part 9: Protect Your Finances

When talking about financial protection, one of the first things that come to mind is the topic of insurance. Most people will at least need the following five types of insurance:

  • Life Insurance – protects others around you financially if you passed away. This is especially recommended if you have others who rely on you financially (children, a partner). 
  • Health Insurance – covers medical bills to ensure you can afford the care you need.
  • Disability Insurance – pays out money in the event of a disability that prevents you from working in the future.
  • Homeowner / Renter’s Insurance – covers damage to you house and often has a liability component to cover damage you inflict upon others or their property.
  • Car Insurance – covers costs and liability issues in case of a car accident both if you caused the accident or if somebody else was at fault. 

I highly recommend reviewing your contracted insurance policies once a year and making sure they are up to date, as your personal situation might have changed since you took out the policy. Have a look at all your insurance policies to ensure you’re well covered and check whether to contract any more (or less) insurance if needed. 

Another important part of financial protection is estate planning. Estate planning covers a couple of different things which are too important to overlook, but due to the complex and emotional decisions that often need to be made this is a topic that can be tempting to postpone.

  • A will or trust – determines what will happen to your assets upon your death.
  • A health care proxy – stipulates who should make important health care decisions about you should you no longer be able to do so mentally or physically.
  • A power of attorney –  identifies who should make financial and legal decisions if you no longer can.
  • Beneficiary designations – some of your assets will allow you to name a beneficiary for when you pass away, such as your insurance policy or savings or investment accounts. Be careful that whoever you name on these assets should correspond to the information you have in your will. 
  • Guardianship designations – possibly the most difficult decision of all a guardianship determines who will become the guardian of any underage children you have. 

Talk to the various people you would like to appoint as guardians or decision makers to allow them time to think about taking on those responsibilities. Then set up a meeting with a notary or estate attorney today and to discuss the arrangements you want to make. 

Lastly, take some steps today to protect your finances online. With the increased internet access we have nowadays, it has also become significantly easier for those with bad intentions to gain access to your money. A few ways to increase your security:

  • Choose difficult passwords and change them often
  • Use two-step verification
  • Enable email notifications when you log in to your accounts or withdraw money
  • Check your accounts regularly
  • Don’t use public WiFi accounts or public computers to access your accounts

Schedule in a few minutes today or tomorrow to implement these measures and ensure your accounts are well-protected. 

The above is an adaptation of part 9 of the 10 parts in the guidebook to Financial Independence100 Steps to Financial Independence: The Definitive Roadmap to Achieving Your Financial Dreams where you can find more details as well as action plans and guidelines to each of the 10 parts. Available in both ebook and paperback format!

Get your FREE sample of the 100 Steps to Financial Independence Book here

Coming up next: Part 10 of the Journey to Financial Independence!

Day 26 / 31 Update your Estate Plan

Day 26: Update your Estate Plan

Day 26: Update your Estate Plan
Day 26: Update your Estate Plan

Today’s challenge may not be the most cheerful of the ones to busy yourself with, but estate planning should be high up on your priority list of financial planning, no matter how old or young you are.

Estate planning is about taking the necessary steps now to arrange for what will happen to your inheritance for when you pass away as well as making arrangements for who is to make key decisions in case you no longer can.

There are 6 key parts you should arrange as part of your estate planning, which include: Continue reading “Day 26 / 31 Update your Estate Plan”

Step 56: Estate Planning

Step 56 of the 100 Steps to Financial Independence: Estate Planning
Step 56: Estate Planning

Maybe not the nicest step of the 100 we’re covering to think about, but estate planning should be high up your priority list of financial planning. Not only will you feel more at peace knowing that you have made the necessary arrangements for when the time comes, your family will be grateful being able to mourn and deal with the emotional side of your demise, instead of worrying over legalities and finances.

In this step we’ll look at the key parts you should arrange as part of your estate planning, which include:

  1. A will or trust
  2. A health care proxy / health care power of attorney
  3. A power of attorney
  4. Beneficiary designations
  5. Guardianship designations
  6. Letter of intent

A will or trust

A will is a legal document that details what should happen to each of your assets upon your death, providing this is in compliance with local and national legislation. Trusts can furthermore be advantageous in terms of certain tax or legal issues. Continue reading “Step 56: Estate Planning”