Friday, 15 April 2011

Trust Matters

How is your leadership informed by trust?

Key Points About Why Trust Matters

  • School leaders that have the trust of their communities are more likely to be successful in creating productive learning environments.

  • Trust is a challenge for schools at this point in history, when all of our institutions are under unprecedented scrutiny.

  • Much of the responsibility for realizing our society's vision of greater equity is vested in our schools.  Consequently, higher expectations are especially brought to bear on those who educate our children.

  • Without trust, schools are likely to flounder in their attempts to provide constructive educational environments and meet the lofty goals that our society has set for them because energy needed to solve the complex problem of educating a diverse group of students is diverted into self-protection.

  • Trustworthy leadership is the heart of productive schools.

From:  Trust Matters by Megan Tschannen-Moran
Published by: Jossey-Bass


  1. April 2011 at 18:26

    Trust is essential in any relationship. Productive learning communities depend on their members to build and maintain trust. The absence of trust or the erosion of trust is detrimental to student success. leaders must demonstrate authenticity and competency in order to build and maintain trust. Theresa

  2. I completely agree Theresa. The other piece to this is that trust in organizations as well as in personal relationships builds capacity. Progress is when all members feel that they can be part of the team and connections that are in place. When this happens people, programmes, opportunities flourish and set root.

  3. Katia, I'm thinking about your comment that trust builds capacity. I'm not sure I know just what you mean. In what way does trust build capacity? In fact, I almost wonder if trust might erode capacity if people got too comfortable with each other. What do you think?

  4. Trust builds capacity. To demonstrate trust means a relationship exists. A person may in fact be more apt to strive and excel if they feel valued and trusted. Do we not apply these same ideas in working with students?

    The whole crux of the character development movement is that valued, safe students will be more willign to take risks and thus grow in their learning. It only stands to reason this can be extended to adult learners and those with whom we work and seek to build as leaders.

  5. Interesting thought, Arthur. However, I wonder what this means for leaders. Does it mean we trust everyone? What does this actually look like for leaders in terms of actual behaviours?

  6. Certainly trust needs to be earned. Still, to enter into a leadership role with the squinty eyes of suspicion does little to create a climate of trust-based release of leadership. On the contary, going in assuming everyone is professional and capable allows people to feel that safety to open up and demonstrate what they are potentially capable of before the release takes place. To tryst blindly is foolhardy, to not not trust at all could be equally dangerous.

    To hand over, say, all math PD to someone whose ability you question would be placing trust foolishly. To develop teams to teast drive potential, then releasing authority might be the better approach.

    Perhaps Trust = Relationship + Time