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  • Writer's pictureCrisis Shield

Leadership series: Unpacking Trust

In our earlier blog we introduced three areas that we believe are instrumental in having a successful critical incident response.

These three key elements are Trust, Integrity and Hope.


What is trust?

It’s a common word we toss around and often use in our daily vocabulary “I don’t trust that person, you just can’t trust anyone these days, what you don’t trust me?”

The word trust is strong, solid, well understood and often gives clarity in our conversations.

In critical incident management trust is pivotal in resolving the incident. Firstly, we need trust within the leadership/critical incident team. If the team doesn’t trust each other how will internal or external stakeholders trust what we say and do. Building trust within the team is vital.

If your internal and external stakeholders don’t have trust in the leadership team, then the impact and probability they will conform to instruction is hampered.

We have seen this exact situation play out during COVID. While most complied with government and law enforcement instruction, many did not. Much based around trust in these authorities. Trust isn’t built overnight; it takes years even decades to develop and establish.

As discussed earlier navy seals prefer a less capable leader, they trust over a more capable leader they don’t trust.

If you want to bring your internal and external stakeholders along the journey and follow instruction, they need to trust you. Resorting to penalties, brute force, coercion, and sanctions isn’t trust, it’s resorting to the last tools left when trust is lacking.

So, what does an organisation and leader do to develop trust in the team, then with internal and external stakeholders.

Here are a few characteristics we believe are needed:

And finally, be honest when you have made an error. Whilst it will be painful and possibly result in a social or financial impact it will provide a lot of trust in your team and stakeholders.

As we outlined in our earlier blog The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer identified that trust has diminished significantly, now we have the opportunity to build or increase our trust barometer, not just for our daily business but available to be drawn upon in a critical incident.

If you would like to know more about building, training and testing your critical incident team please contact us at or call 0417 160120


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