Earlier this year, the Gallup Organization asked Americans about the trust they had in various institutions, including Congress.
Congress received its lowest rating ever since Gallup began the poll in 1973. Only 10% of respondents said they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress.
Those results may not really surprise many Americans, but they might be taken aback to learn in their own work life, their colleagues, bosses or employees may not trust them, either.
Another Gallup survey finds that only 30% of the 100 million full-time workers are actively engaged in their work. That lack of engagement stems from a lack of trust in an organization or a boss, says Nan S. Russell, author of Trust Inc.
Just as a lack of trust among lawmakers slows down business, so does a lack of trust and engagement in the workplace. Gallup estimates that the 70% of workers who are not engaged cost $450 billion to $550 billion a year in lost productivity.
In addition, disengaged and distrustful workers are less collaborative and innovative, Russell says.
"Part of the problem is that we always believe the lack of trust is someone else's problem," she says. "But the answer to developing better trust comes person to person."
That means that a boss who wants to develop more trust within his team doesn't wait for human resources or a corporate training program but instead moves ahead on his own to improve team members' confidence in one another.
"I think the biggest mistake people make when they think about trust is that they get it backwards," she says. "We look for people we can trust, instead of thinking about whether we are worthy of their trust. It's a mindset."
In her book, Russell addresses several issues, such as the kinds of behaviors that diminish trust. If you want to have more people trust you, she suggests you stop behaviors such as these:
1. Piling on the hype. If you over promise and under deliver, it shows you don't take your words seriously — so no one trusts them.
2. Broadcasting distrust. Dictating to others and micromanaging can convey loudly and clearly that you don't trust others to do what needs to be done.
3. Avoiding responsibility. Maybe you wimp out, make excuses or blame others (read more here)