When Archimedes reportedly said “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world“, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to intention.

However, in this post I want to highlight how with clarity of intention, and while maybe not ‘moving the world’, I’m convinced we can fix one of the largest and yet covert problems impeding workplace prosperity… and that problem is the incredible costs associated with distrust within organisations.

And before you jump to the conclusion that this is ‘soft stuff’, let me reassure you that the scientific research around distrust and the costs associated with it are astoundingly harsh and yet in organisations throughout Australia, large and small, a focus on the positive impact of trust and negative impact created by distrust is largely lacking.

Sure, it’s easy to say that Trust Matters, but the reality is Distrust is still a big problem… because yes, most people get that trust matters, but everyday actions aren’t generating trust.

What concerns me most is the large amount of internal and external consulting work that is focusing on strategies that are unlikely to create lasting and significantly positive change.

Only 29% of people believe in the trustworthiness of others…

While current research on trust in Australia is limited, in one British research study, sociologist David Halpern reveals that in Great Britain, 4 decades ago, 60% of the population believed other people could be trusted; today, it’s down to 29%.

Many organisations, and for very good reasons, have become actively involved in the training of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ for their leaders and employees. In Daniel Goleman’s landmark book ‘Emotional Intelligence” he draws on Aristotle’s philosophical writing and study of virtue, character and the good life, and in particular the challenge to “manage our emotional life with intelligence”.

Aristotle wrote The Nichomachean Ethics over 2300 years ago. Dale Carnegie’s book on How To Win Friends And Influence People was first published 77 years ago, and along with Goleman’s book which was first published almost 2 decades ago, we’ve seen in the past twenty years especially, this emerging and continual focus on emotional intelligence.

However, the problem still exists that Trust remains at risk.

So despite significant work being introduced to many organisations on emotional intelligence, it obviously isn’t the answer… it’s certainly not doing any harm, but it’s not the answer.

Having consulted and coached organisations at Board level, leadership and divisional team levels through to customer service and sales teams, what I know is that when you name the game of Distrust, when you reveal it through coaching on specific and inescapable truths, the causes of Distrust are reduced and Trust increases.

It starts with the clarity of your intentions for all stakeholders – once your intentions are clearly stated and agreed upon, you now have a platform upon which all decisions can be made, simply by asking “Will this help us to live up to our intentions for our stakeholders?”

When your intentions are clear, you can become more specific and confident in the promises you make, the expectations you create, the actions you take and the results you achieve.

Why? Because they’re all based on intention. With clear intention you make intentional promises, take intentional action and get intentional results.

All this builds trust.

The alternative is that you are not clear on your intentions, you don’t make intentional promises (which result in unintentional expectations), and you don’t take intentional actions (which result in unintentional habits), and you don’t get intentional results (which cause unintentional stress, and distrust).

Without intention, trust is at risk. With intention, trust rests on a platform of solid foundation.

If you’d like to learn more about the Intentionomics Trust Model, watch this 4 minute video