Tag Archives: Competence

The 3 C’s of trust

Today, on Memorial Day, as we honor our military men and women who have served and died for our country, I thought it might be apropos to share the 3 C’s of trust published by naval academy graduate and helicopter pilot Philip Gift in The Military Leader.

Gift says that building trust boils down to three fundamentals: 1) Competence;  2) Caring; and 3) Communication.   Here are a few insights that he shares about the 3 C’s:

  • If people are not competent, then no matter what is promised, they will not be able to deliver.
  • If people don’t care about the other members of the workforce, then there is no guarantee that they will keep their word when a better deal arises.
  • No matter how competent people are or how much they care, if they cannot communicate that information to other people, then trust will never grow.

Given the importance of competence, care, and communication in building trust, here are some questions for you to consider about your own leadership.

Competence: Are you competent in the job you currently hold? Do you understand your leadership role and your impact on others? What steps can you take to improve your effectiveness as a leader?

Caring: Do you care about your organization and the people who report to you? What do you do specifically to demonstrate that care? Do you listen to your employees and take time to learn more about them as whole people? How do you support them with the necessary tools and resources to accomplish their jobs? What growth opportunities can you give them?

Communication: How well do you communicate your ideas and decisions? Do you find that people understand what you are trying to convey? What do you do to ensure effective two-way communication? When do you opt for face-to-face meetings, email, memos, phone and online meetings? Do your communication strategies and modes seem to work well? What can you do to improve your communications?

While I work hard to demonstrate caring with my team members, when I’m overloaded, it sometimes falls by the wayside. The last couple of months have been so frenetic, that I haven’t had much time to check in with each staff member individually to see how things are going. This week I’m going take extra time to do just that.

In the next week, I challenge you to take one of the 3 C’s and see how you can work to enhance trust with your team as well.

Anita Rios




Get better

In his groundbreaking book The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey builds a compelling case that we can all become skilled at building trust by cultivating 13 behaviors that focus on character and competence. Covey coins one of the 13 behaviors as “Get Better.” What he means is that we can and should continually improve at what we do to build on our competence and increase others’ confidence in our abilities.

This week I am doing just that. I’m spending a few days at ASTD’s International Conference and Exposition in Dallas, Texas with about 8,000 learning and development professionals from 72 different countries around the world. So far, I’ve been thrilled to hear from thought leaders that I’ve only seen on TED talks or YouTube videos like Sir Ken Robinson, who spoke about leading a culture of innovation and David Rock, who has pioneered the field of neuroleadership. I’ve also learned more about improving our training by using whole-brained strategies to meet all learner needs, especially in this evolving digital age where attention spans are reduced to eight minutes (the average time between television commercials). I’ve learned how leaders can influence others effectively and how to build engagement strategies into e-learning. (No more boring e-learning!) I’ve collected scores of new ideas, methods, and strategies that will take me weeks to process, incorporate into my work, and share with others.

It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. I am impressed by the deep knowledge and competence of my ASTD colleagues. And even though I know I’m at the point of information overload, I realize I haven’t learned much about building mobile learning from the ground up. Yikes!

Today the conference wraps up. I’ll return home to apply what I’ve learned and “get better” at what I do. Part of my plan is to expand my reading list, share my learnings with my team, and start a Talent Management version of Facebook’s monthly hackathons*, where we focus on greater collaboration and team learning to better serve the MnSCU community.

What can you do to build on your competence and “get better?”

Anita Rios

*Hackathon is a hack day where computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate intensively on software projects.