Trust – the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
When I first start thinking about trust I think back to the time when my children were small. They had the ultimate trust in me as a parent. They knew I would be there to take care of them, love them, and help guide them. They knew I would be there if they got hurt or made a mistake. They basically knew I would help them through anything.
Then, I thought about trust in a school setting. Is it really that different? Teachers and students need to know that you care for them. They need to know that you have their best interests always at the forefront. They need to know that you will be there to offer support in any way so that they can take risks and grow from them. They will trust you to have their back.
Reflecting on this helps put things in place for me as a leader. I know to build trust I need to:
- help create a culture that shares the same beliefs and values
- be authentic – say and do what I actually believe in
- build strong relationships – be visible and communicate daily to staff and students
- provide support – resources, time, and an ear to listen
I also know that as a leader, I never want to lose the trust. Trust is hard to build but almost impossible to rebuild once it’s been broken.