Establishing Trust: A Very Important Quality of a Project Manager

Let’s begin by understanding the importance of having trust along with leadership competency. To be a successful Project Manager or Project Leader, one must need to have leadership competency.

A Project Leader or Project Manager must understand the dynamics, types of leadership and what style of leadership helps in a given situation. By using expert judgment, he or she can enact with the desired style of leadership to achieve the desired goals. In my view, whatever style of leadership skill a Project Leader or Project Manager uses to be successful in their role, one must maintain trust in all situations. Trust is the vital factor in producing results. If they don’t, then they need to adopt that trait as soon as possible to become successful. There is a difference between a good Project Manager and a successful Project Manager. A successful Project Manager can become a good Project Manager, but a good Project Manager cannot always be a successful Project Manager. So try to be a successful Project Manager by utilizing trust as one of your qualities. In this digital (virtual) day and age, trust is vital and very important as all your peers and partners are not in physical proximity. We can say that trust acts as a glue to bind you and your stakeholders harmoniously. This one sentence means that: Apart from the leadership skill, an additional and important quality a Project Leader or Manager must adopt is trust. Building trust helps as an additional factor to have effective communication with stakeholders, having successful team meetings, to negotiate with clients and their needs, and to develop estimates, etc.

Neuroscience, Psychology and Trust Building

So, how do you build trust? First and foremost, one needs to adopt the Seven C’s to build trust. What are the Seven C’s? They are: 1) Character with Compassion, 2) Clarity, 3) Contribution, 4) Competency, 5) Connection, 6) Commitment, and 7) Consistency. ‚ÄòYou Can’t Be A Great Leader Without Trust — Here’s How You Build It‘ article from Forbes explains in great detail on the Seven C’s with respect trust. Though it precisely aims to Leaders, it applies to Project Manages also as Leadership is one of the skill or competence the project managers should have. Why is trust so important? In my view, people want to do their best or go an extra mile for whom they trust. If you ask me why they go an extra mile, I would say “it’s just human nature”. This is true. To know more about it, you have to read “The Neuroscience of Trust ” from Harvard Business Review. It appears that the brain produces oxytocin levels based on the trust factor. These oxytocin levels help in reducing the fear of trusting others. A quote from this article: “Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfied with their lives, 40% less burnout.” All I am trying to prove by referring this article is trust is both emotional and logical act of a human. To adopt the trust, we also need to understand the human psychological aspect.

Trust Quotient

To take-up any challenges, first we need to come up with strategies, get consensus from others, and make key decisions. For it, first and foremost, we need to trust ourselves by thinking this can be done only by you in a best possible manner. Trust is the ability which helps you to influence, inspire and be followed by others and we need to tap into it. Like IQ (Intelligence quotient), we can measure trust. This is called the Trust Quotient (TQ).

TQ = (Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy)/Self-Orientation

Remember, trust is part of human nature and related to human psychology. If you don’t have much TQ, there is no need to worry; it can be improved. In general, born or natural leaders will have good TQ, but for others, it can be improved by experience, practice, and observance.

Summary

By reading this article, you won’t be getting PDU’s or SEU’s or any other certification, but I can certainly assure you that you already have leadership skills or have a desire to have leadership skills under your belt. How? Coming to this website and reading this article makes me think you are a curious and inquisitive person. By saying this, did I raise your oxytocin levels? Probably. Yes, I’m sure! If I have, then by trusting me you entered into an arena of TRUST. Remember, Belief is the key to get into the trust zone (I hope you understood). So, battle yourself to get into the belief zone of others and conquer their trust. By this, I mean to say, go and win the trust of others and be a successful Project Leader or a Project Manager.

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Sreedhar Koganti

Sreedhar has more than 18 years of experience in software and system development. He is experienced in management to achieve project goals using the best possible project management methodologies and practices.