One of the first topics that we discuss in Strategic Programs, Inc. Fleet Manager trainings is the issue of trust. The relationship between the Fleet Manager and the Professional Driver is important and complex, and cannot function properly without trust from both parties. Any relationship that lacks trust is difficult, stressful, time consuming, and will most likely fail in the long run. Trust is something that is built over time. In our training sessions, we discuss the 13 behaviors that high trust leaders exhibit, from Steven R. Covey’s 2008 book, The Speed of Trust:
Behaviors of high trust leaders:
- Talk Straight
- Demonstrate Respect
- Create Transparency
- Right Wrongs
- Show Loyalty
- Deliver Results
- Get Better
- Confront Reality
- Clarify Expectations
- Practice Accountability
- Listen First
- Keep Commitments
- Extend Trust
In the training sessions, we encourage discussion around each of these behaviors – what they mean, how to demonstrate each behavior, and the negative impact of performing the opposite of any of these behaviors.
Each participant is then challenged to choose the behavior that he or she feels could use some improvement, and they know they are to report back on what they’ve done the next time we meet. Holding people accountable to practice the skills and behaviors we discuss in the trainings is one of the great benefits that we can provide in these sessions. Time after time we’ve seen people realize the impact that a small behavior change can make after they’ve been practicing the new behavior for a few weeks and share with the group what they’ve been doing and how it’s been going.
The tricky thing about a trusting relationship is that although it can take years to build, it can be crushed in an instant. When someone loses trust in you -regardless of whether it’s something you’ve done or said, or it is outside forces that have caused the rift- we discuss how to rebuild trust when it has been lost. We also talk about the difference between broken trust regarding capabilities (skills, results, track record) and broken trust regarding character (integrity, motive, intent), and what it takes to come back from both.
While we at Strategic Programs don’t claim to have all of the answers regarding the relationships between the Fleet Manager and the driver; we do have an arsenal of tools, tips and best practices to share and the ability to facilitate discussions among your Managers to promote learning and improvement.
For more information on our Fleet Manager Training Program, click here, or email us or call 800-800-5476.