There is a worldwide gap of trust at the moment and it is making me sad.
It is not only the divide between Russia and the rest of the world, it’s not only the divide between the BlackLivesMatter and the whitesupremacy in the US , it’s not only the immigration versus nonimmigration in Europe, it is a much bigger divide and with wider implications.
It is a growing worldwide deterioration in trust between women and men.
The rise of the feminist movement and the me-too campaign had many positives but they also brought with them some side effect: women and men start trusting each other less. The impact is most visible in the teenagers, young adult and singles.
In this apparently danger littered world people rely on the dating apps algorithms more than they rely on their brain, their heart or on their hormonal impulses. As a teenager, how can you rely on your judgement about trusting a boy or a girl when you discover everything you need to know on google, tiktok or tinder.
How can you fall in love, when you are not vulnerable?
Beyond the obvious dating impact, I noticed the deterioration of trust in the entrepreneurial sector as well. Ever since I wrote the “mothers as leaders’ I have been ushered towards Female networks, mumpreneurship, women financial grants, women mentors and so on. Even within the well-respected International Coaching Federation I kept being matched with other women coaches. In the last reciprocal coaching round I wrote in my application that I want to be matched with a man to make the diversity happen. Bud has been a wonderful executive coach because he didn’t label me as a mumpreneur.
Maybe you work in a global corporate company and you don’t see the issue. You are part of a global gender diverse team and you trust your male colleagues as much as you trust your female colleagues.
But let’s look a little bit under the hood. During the pandemic and you even now during the hybrid working culture, you learned to build trust with your colleagues via the virtual channels, Zoom or MSteams has been your meeting place. You do build trust but you build what I call: the Intellectual level trust.
Which means, you trust someone to ping you or message you if something doesn’t work out or if there is bad news.
If you have a great amount of intellectual trust – you might even trust her to pick up the phone unexpected. In the corporate world that it is a big step – a phone call without planning a meeting it’s a big thing.
Intellectual trust works well for normal circumstances but when you want the psychological safety type of trust that breeds innovation and higher performance, you need to be able to pop by her desk unexpected. When you really care about someone and you have a deep mutual trust you need to be able to ring his doorbell when he doesn’t show up at work or answers the phone and you need to not feel hugely uncomfortable about it. If you are his boss or the HR manager it might even be part of your job description.
If you think you are part of a great team, ask yourself: How many people in your team would do that for you? From those, how many are of the opposite sex?
Trust is the noble bloodstream that flows through our veins and arteries providing the essential ingredients for our heart and our brain. It is like oxygen for our society ability to cooperate and thrive. As a leadership coach and consultant, I spend a lot of coaching hours listening to interpersonal issues around trust and emotions.
Based on my 43 years of experience of being a woman and on 20 years building trust within global organizations, here are my 10 tips for building trust with women, both in business and in the private life.
- See it as a Partnership – if you see yourself as superman, she sees herself as wonder woman, no one likes to be saved
- Keep your promise and hold your Duty – reliability is what gets you the meeting nr 2, 3 and so on
- When you can’t keep your promise say it in time – nobody likes a cover-up and when women smile it is not always a sign of approval
- Don’t walk away from Responsibility and commitment – when she talks about her family it’s a good sign, even in business relations
- Cherish open communication – if she wants to share about her day, it means she likes you.
- Invest daily in keeping up the GOOD Spirit – Humor and positive thinking is what makes a man desirable not money or muscle
- Recognize and appreciate effort not just results – when a woman puts time in something she wants to be appreciated for it, she doesn’t only do it for fun.
- Listen until the end and don’t jump to solutions – it is your ability to listen that will get you closer to a business deal, not your brilliant solution
- Develop common goals, dreams and plans – your willingness to collaborate and cooperate shows you are self-confident and that’s women want from men
- Embrace the Word: TOGETHER😊
It’s time to start reinventing the trust between men and women working together. It’s not enough to recruit gender diverse teams, you need to invest in building trust across genders.
When structures are lost, when we become informal, when we don’t know others well enough we tend to hang around with people like us.It is a famous likeability bias.
What would it take to step out of the imaginary gender bubble and trust equally both men and women you just met.
It starts with a small step: be aware of who do you talk to during the coffee breaks and make a change.