How to Cultivate Trust Among Your Franchise Network
How to Cultivate Trust Among Your Franchise Network

Cultivating a web of trust is often easier said than done. Here are some tips for building trust within your network.

We’ve all been taught that trust and reputation are important elements of branding. Today, though, trust is not simply a nice thing to have—it’s a critical strategic asset. All successful relationships, business partnerships and networks are fueled by trust. It’s the bedrock of the economy and your brand. Mutual trust plays a large role in shaping a franchise system culture that will thrive, and without it, success would be nearly impossible.

“Trust, much like organizational culture, is not built overnight. You need to earn it. Building an organizational culture is deeply rooted in trust, and collaboration starts with strong leadership that is willing to follow through, lead by example and walk the talk to create lasting and impactful organizational change,” said Bill Hogg, who, for 30 years, has worked with senior leaders in some of the world’s most recognized brands to stimulate change. “Leaders that personally embody trust virtues (such as honestly, reliability, discretion and focus on others ahead of themselves) and lead from trust values (such as relationship rather than transaction focus, collaboration and transparency) create a strong network and a strong work environment.”

Today, nearly 62 percent of businesses say that their key values reside in intangibles. But cultivating a web of trust is often easier said than done. Here are some of Hogg’s tips for building trust within your network.

Be the first to show trust

“For one person to trust another—whether that person is the CEO or a frontline team member—that person needs to believe that the other has their best interests at heart. To be a trusted leader you have to demonstrate that you’re there to help others succeed.”

Practice Self-Disclosure

“Self-disclosure is another important action. Opening up builds closer relationships. Trusted leaders also show concern for others. You have to listen, and respect alternative views. Admit what you don’t know and openly communicate with your team.”

Give Credit to Others

“No one likes a glory hog, especially one that takes credit for the hard work of others. Rarely are successes achieved as a result of individual effort. There is usually collaboration—so be sure to share the spotlight with those deserving and celebrate organizational successes as a team.”

Walk the Talk

“Many leaders can talk a good game, but when troubles arise, only truly transformational leaders step up. They reinforce company culture and values daily and understand that it’s critical to build trust consistently through their actions. Model the behavior you want others to follow. When your team sees you leading by example, they will follow suit and be more open to buying in. You lead by example by treating promises seriously, following through on commitments and behaving consistently with your values.”

Hold Yourself Accountable First

“When things go wrong, many people have a tendency to look elsewhere to blame rather than taking ownership for their own shortcomings. As a leader, you need to hold yourself accountable first before you can hold others accountable.”

Listen

“You can build trust and increase collaboration in your culture when you are willing to listen. Admit what you don’t know and be open to new ideas, perspectives and approaches. Often, the act of listening alone will help you build trust with your team.”

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