3 Types of Trust

There are three different forms of trust, according to “The Enemies of Trust,” a February 2002 Harvard Business Review article by leadership experts Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau:

1. Strategic trust – the trust employees have in the people running the show to make the right strategic decisions. Do top managers have the vision and competence to set the right course, intelligently allocate resources, fulfill the mission and help the company succeed?
2. Personal trust – the trust employees have in their managers. Do managers treat employees fairly? Do they consider employees’ needs when making decisions about the business and put the company’s needs ahead of their own?
3. Organizational trust – the trust people have in the company itself. Are processes well designed, consistent and fair? Does the company make good on its promises?

Clearly, these three types of trust are distinct, but they’re linked in important ways. For example, every time a manager violates her direct reports’ personal trust, organizational trust is shaken.

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