What do you believe in? Why do you believe in it? Maybe you believe Santa Claus, mermaids, our government, your company mission or even unicorns? I never really put a whole lot of thought into the relationship of what I trust and what I believe until recent conversations with some potential clients regarding effective millennial integration into their organization.
Let’s take a quick look at how trust and belief are defined. Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Belief is an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
My experience with millennials is that the relationship between Trust and Belief go hand-in-hand. Before millennials will believe in a process, a system, a policy or an organization, they have to trust the information source. For the millennial generation, trusting in some ONE always precedes believing in some THING.
Often times in organizations and in life, we are required to believe in things that we just can’t see, touch, feel or prove, in order for the team to gel and accomplish their mission.
As leaders in organizations, it’s even more important that your teams believe in the strategy, plan, process or system that you have put in place in order for them to execute with confidence. What several members in senior leadership of various organizations have expressed to me is that millennial employees seem to consistently question or challenge the system, policies and/or processes that are in place. “They (millennials) are always questioning why is it done this way, or why aren't we doing it that way?” It’s almost as if they are confused as to how or why they wouldn’t believe in a process that has worked for years before they even got here.
Millennials, in my experience, are less inclined to focus on the “what” until they understand the “why”. Growing up in the information age and being accustomed to having access to so much information and having that information always made readily available to them largely drives this. They have also seen generations before them get bamboozled by blindly following the directions and formulas of others that resulted in more of an American Nightmare than an American Dream.
Businesses and organizations need to understand that millennial beliefs in something are rooted in their trust in the people sharing the information. The process may be flawless, but if it’s not coming from a trusted information source, it doesn’t matter.
Generation X and Baby Boomer leaders, you need to make it a priority to build trust with your millennial counterparts. They are much more inclined to believe in the process if they trust in you.
"The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between; the leader and the led is trust." - Brian Tracy