Behaviors of Empowerment: Success is Culture Crucial

What must your culture look like and why? What behaviors are required to create a culture of trust?  Why does everyone in your organization need to learn behaviors that tier to trust?

This is the third blog in a series of blogs on Empowerment.   

Trust must be the foundation of your culture.

Empowerment, team-orientation, and collaboration do not occur unless people feel safe to speak their minds and be themselves.  Before people feel safe, they must trust.

You cannot create an empowered culture if people do not trust one another.  You cannot command empowerment, and you most definitely cannot command trust. 

Trust is nurtured or earned over time in incremental steps through behaviors that tier consistently to values that speak to integrity, respect for people, and promises kept. 

Having a culture of trust is so crucial to success that “your number one responsibility when you go to work is to build trust.”   

How do You Create a Culture of Trust? 

First the officers of an organization must want it and take the steps to learn how to create such a culture.   Then develop a strategy to create an organizational wide culture of trust. 

It begins there, but to create this culture, every individual in the organization must be held accountable to the behaviors associated with trust.  No one is exempt, not even to the highest-ranking officers or board members.   Behaviors must also extend to how you treat people in the community, your customers, and your vendors. 

The culture must be one with “zero tolerance for disrespect for anyone for any reason.” (More on Developing a Culture of Trust in the Training Module available on line or live classes.)

You Will Not Earn Trust Without Meeting Human Needs

To begin with, individuals will not trust if human needs of respect and purpose are not being met.  Every human being wants to be respected and valued as the unique individuals they are.  Every human being needs to know they add value, purpose, that “I matter.”  You will never get to trust if you are not consistently treating all people with respect, and you are not consistently demonstrating to people that you value them, that they are not just mere numbers on an organizational chart. 

People are human beings with souls.  That is where we have historically gone wrong.  We hire “head count.”  We hire to fill “positions” and to “get work done,” most often without considering the human beings and needs associated with humans. 

First, we must stop looking at the people in our organizations as “things” or “head count,” and look at them as human beings.  We must strive to meet human needs first, then everything else will follow but at a higher level.  Trust begins here.

Get to Know People as Human Beings: 

The starting place! The most important thing you can do to nurture trust is to get to know people as human beings, and let people get to know you as a human being. Demonstrate genuine concern and interest for people, regardless of the position you are in. 

Demonstrating Respect:    Talk to people.  Ask and listen to others.  Get to know people as human beings. Who is the human being behind the number or name?  What are his or her passions?  Who are their family members?  Do they enjoy their jobs?   What do they do every day in their jobs?   Ask and listen to others’ stories.  Share your story so people see you as a human being. Demonstrate genuine interest in others. 

There is a lot more to demonstrating respect but getting to know people and genuinely demonstrating that you are interested in them and value them as the unique human beings they are is where you must begin.  “I value you.  You are important to me, your team, and to this organization.” 

When it comes to demonstrating respect to people, we must consider the Platinum Rule.  ‘…treat people as they want to be treated.  They may not want to be treated as you do.’ We must get to know people and respect them for who they are, not try to change them into the idea of what we think they should be.” (More on Diversity and Inclusion in a later blog and in Training Modules available online or live instructor.)

Let People Know You Value Them—Purpose

Also crucial to nurturing trust and motivating people is to let them know you appreciate them, that they add value.  All human beings have a need to know that what they are doing is helping the team or group succeed. 

It costs nothing to let people know you appreciate them, but the return you will receive on these few seconds or minutes it takes to do so is priceless when it comes to creating an empowered culture, motivating people, and retaining people.  It links directly to team performance and your bottom line.   

Helping One Another Succeed:  In an empowered, team-oriented culture, the thought process should be “we are all equally interdependent on one another for success.” 

If the mindset is “every man for himself,” you do not have an empowered culture, nor do you have a “team.”  Well!  You may have a dysfunctional team.   A true team is made up of members who are constantly thinking about “we,” “us,” and “together,” versus “how I can outdo everyone else.”   

Regardless of what you do or what position you are in, your mindset needs to be “to help people succeed.”  Everyone on your team and in your organization is a partner to someone or everyone else, including your customers.  “We succeed or fail together.” 

Everyone Needs to Learn the Behaviors of Trust 

Everyone needs to learn soft skills, social intelligence skills, interpersonal skills, the ability to “lead self” because of the importance of team-orientation and empowerment.  Relationships are more crucial than ever in history, to individual, organizational, and team success.

Everyone needs to learn how to nurture trust and develop relationships; the behaviors of trust.

Training and Consultation Available to Help You Develop an Empowered Culture:   This Empowerment blog series is not meant to be all inclusive on what is needed to create an Empowered Culture.   Training is available either as self-paced online or live instructor led classes at your site.  Follow this link for more information at Add link.  Download the syllabus free.   Live instructor led costs are negotiable based on many factors, including location.  Reasonable and affordable rates.  Curriculum is based on years of research and proven results achieved through teaching and using the tools.   

About the Author

With over 30 years’ experience developing and leading teams in corporate and non-profit environments, Patricia Hatley is a skilled team facilitator who has a passion for teaming and an empowering style of leadership.  She is a leadership author and researcher, speaker, trainer and coach, focusing on developing an empowered culture which is crucial to engaging, and retaining younger generations (Gen Ys) and (Plurals or Gen Zs), in any environment and community.  Her work focuses on developing a culture conducive to engaging and retaining all people.  Her Goal is to “empower people to empower others.”  She believes that all people have a right to be treated with respect, and that developing trust, is the foundation of success today. 

She develops and delivers leadership and management training to business and industry, including serving as an Independent Contractor for community colleges.  Her work focuses on methods that work today and in the future.  A passionate and engaging speaker, she has spoken to groups and conducted training in multiple states about “5 Generations at Work: Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Gen Ys and Plurals” for business, government, and non-profit organizations.  Her methods and curriculum are proven to be successful in creating an empowered culture.

She has a Master’s of Science in Strategic Leadership (transformational & authentic leadership), a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, studied communications, and has been coached by numerous journalists, authors and educators, as well as completing many leadership programs. A former journalist, lobbyist, and public affairs specialist, she has served in a host of leadership roles spanning her career. 

Currently a national SHRM and Catawba Valley SHRM member, Pat earned her SHRM Certified Professional certification in July 2017.   Her curriculum, “5 Generations @ Work: Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Them,” has been approved for recertification credits by HRCI and SHRM. 

Her publications, based on over 10 years of research, including her graduate research project, include: “4 Generations @ Work: Leading from Conflict to Collaboration” (2012), “Three Things all People Want” (2013), Digital Grenades (2014), and “4 Generations @ Work: A Case of Empowerment” (2015). Training Module content is based on research and real-world applications and has been proven to be successful in developing empowered and trusting cultures.