elements of trust

Elements of trust in successful peer performance groups

Trust is a leading indicator when evaluating a business leader’s effectiveness. The same is true when evaluating a facilitator of a franchise peer performance group (FPPG).  By understanding the behaviors that influence trust, facilitators are more likely to elevate the level of trust within the group they lead, which produces stronger outcomes for the group and the businesses involved.

Chad Fotheringham, co-founder of Amada Senior Care, participated in FPPG’s facilitator training and quickly recognized the importance of trust within the facilitator role.  “At the earliest stages of a peer performance group’s formation, for the facilitator, it’s all about building trust.”

There are three elements of trust:

  1. Positive Relationships.  Peer performance groups can strengthen relationships between franchisees as well as the franchisee and franchisor.  Relationships are strengthened through thoughtful, respectful interactions, such as listening to understand, showing empathy, and being open to dialogue. 
  2. Sound Judgement/Expertise. When the peer performance group facilitator is well-informed and knowledgeable, they build trust with group members and help lead them through productive conversations.  Examples of this include constructive challenges and thought-provoking open-ended questions to encourage different viewpoints for diversity and inclusion.
  3. Consistency.  Clear expectations and a commitment to those expectations are must-haves for a peer performance group.  The facilitator must consistently model the behaviors outlined in the group expectations.  They must walk the talk and set a strong example for group members.  Reinforcing expectations with group members in a respectful and consistent manner inspires followership from the group.

The television show 60 Minutes recently featured Siya Kolisi, captain on the South African rugby team.  The journalist commented that “In the fierce pitch matches of rugby, leadership is as critical as raw talent. What, after all, is a scrum, but a literal exercise in team bonding?”

Captain Kolisi approaches his role this way, “We are human beings before we are sportsmen, the more we talk to one another, the more we understand each other, the more we get to know each other, the more we trust each other, and open up to each other, the more you get that deeper connection to your teammates.  If I know your motivations, the more I know your story, and I don’t want to let you down.  I know you won’t drop me, and you know what I am fighting for too.”

Peer performance groups built upon trust can have a valuable and lasting impact on a franchise network and the individuals that make up the group.  A trained, prepared, and confident facilitator sets the stage for a successful group where vulnerability, accountability, and constructive challenges are the norm.  This leads to valuable, long-lasting, and trusted relationships. 

We recommend Stephen R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust-The One Thing That Changes Everything.  This book is about the importance of trust and how it can improve all aspects of our lives, from personal relationships to productivity in business. 

Trust is such a critical component of a group facilitator role; therefore, we offer professional development for facilitators as part of our peer performance group program.  Contact us for more information!