Benevolence and Trust

We held a board work session on Monday, December 10.  One of our agenda items was how we will work together as a board.  As part of our discussion, we discussed factors that influence trust.  Here are elements of trust discussed in a book Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools by Megan Tschannen-Moran.

Reliability – Do I do what I say I’ll do?  Am I committed, dedicated and consistent?

Predictability – Will I act/decide the same way in similar situations? Can people predict what I’ll do in similar situations?

Benevolence – Do I express appreciation and support people?  Do I demonstrate good will?  Do I guard confidences?

Honesty – Do I tell the truth?  Do I keep promises and honor agreement?  Do I avoid manipulating others?  Am I true to myself?

Accountability – Do I take responsibility for what I do?

Openness – Do I share important information?  Do I share decision making and power?

Competence – Do I work hard and meet standards? Do I handle difficult situations and deal with conflict appropriately?

Most of these are familiar.  Rod Schmidt, a fellow board member from Mead, noted that Benevolence is less commonly associated with trust.  Benevolence is something worth considering not just during the holiday seasons but throughout the year.  As a friend of mine likes to say, "You can get more done with sugar than vinegar."

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One Response to “Benevolence and Trust”

  1. Brad Jolly Says:

    In general, I like this list, John. One thing that strikes me, though, is it doesn’t seem to include the “correctness” of the direction in which the leadership is leading.
    Imagine a leader who is reliable, predictable, benevolent, honest, accountable, open and competent (all as you define them above), but headed in the wrong direction! Would that really be a good thing? Would you trust that person with leadership? I would not.

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