#WITswe23: Building Trust In The Times of Change with Karin Zingmark

Navigating change is all about eliminating fears and creating a strong foundation of trust. But how? And where do we even start? Understanding the neuroscience of trust will enable you and your team to adapt, overcome challenges and build resilience in complex and uncertain times.

This was the premise for one of the most appreciated main stage sessions at #WITswe23 by Karin Zingmark – a former CMO of Microsoft in Sweden and now an author, consultant and board executive of various companies. 

Exclusion is harmful

“The feeling of being excluded or mistreated activates the same parts of your brain as when we experience physical pain”, Karin told from stage, highlighting the importance of inclusion and making a connection to why companies let misconduct be ongoing for years. “Our urge to be accepted and a part of the room is so strong that we allow for these behaviors to continue”.

Simultaneously, Karin Zingmark put emphasis on the why. According to research, people in high trust organizations experience 74% less stress than others, 104% more energy at work, get 50% more productive and reduce their sick leave by 13%. Therefore, it is safe to say that trust is not only about having a good time – it is both about health and business criticality too.

Four ways to build trust,
according to Karin Zingmark: 

1. Recognize excellence

“This is so simple, giving positive feedback to make sure our co-workers know they are doing an amazing job”, Karin said on stage.

2. Share information broadly
and focus on dialogue

According to Karin, people tend to think they are clear when they are communicating when in reality they are not – and her tip is to focus on asking questions to get a dialogue going.

3. Intentionally build relationships

Knowing each other and building connection is one of the keys to building trust. “This is the essence of everything”, Karin said. “Invest time in getting to know each other”. 

4. Open up and show vulnerability

“When we do this, as leaders, we show others that it is okay to do it too”, Karin said on stage. “Asking for help is not a failure”.


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