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  • Writer's pictureAmitabh Mendiratta

You cannot demand Trust

Trust is essential in the smooth running of any organization. For a second imagine working at a place where no one trusted each other.

While agile adoption helps break down silos between units, mental silos take a while to dissolve. Transparency and communication allows for trust to emerge in Agile teams but often the disconnect with leadership continues.

While leadership understands and values the efficiency that agility brings they sometimes continue to demand trust from their team. This simply does not work, teams begin to feign openness but tell you what you want to hear.

You cannot demand a bird to come and eat from your hand. Several years ago I had a pet bird, it took me a whole week to get the bird to feed from my hand. I would hold my hand with the bird seeds several times a day keeping still. She tested the waters several times coming closer with every attempt before finally feeling safe and deciding to trust and perch on my hand to take the seeds.

Similarly your teams too test the waters with you. Leadership has to create a presence of trust allowing them to feel safe enough to be heard without prejudice and judgement. Only then would you really get the true picture of the state of your business and enable the teams to give their best.

Creating a presence of trust takes time and patience and while it might seem counter intuitive in the short term, the long term benefits will be remarkable.

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