Communication is aiming for unification. A unification of ambitions, a unification of goals, a unification that will give thrust to a forward movement, an evolution towards an awakened self, and thrusting for growth. This is nothing but another word for oneness that is possible only when the foundation is trust. Trust forms the foundation for effective communication, employee retention, and employee motivation and contribution of discretionary energy, the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in work. When trust exists in an organization or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve. Trust has a lasting IMPACT.
Trust. You know when it is present; you know when it is absent. Yet, what is trust and how is trust usefully defined for the workplace? Can you build trust when it doesn’t exist? How do you maintain and build upon the trust you may currently have in your work place? These are important questions for today’s rapidly changing world. Without trust, words become the hollow sound of a wooden gong. With trust, words become life itself.
Jerome Blattner wrote: “A person who trusts no one can’t be trusted.” Tway defines trust as, “the state of readiness for unguarded interaction with someone or something.” He developed a model of trust that includes three components. He calls trust a construct because it is “constructed” of these three components: “the capacity for trusting, the perception of competence, and the perception of intentions.” The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others.
How important is building a trusting work environment? Aristotle (384-322 BC), writing in the Rhetoric, suggested that Ethos, the Trust of a speaker by the listener, was based on the listener’s perception of three characteristics of the speaker. Aristotle believed these three characteristics to be the intelligence of the speaker (correctness of opinions, or competence), the character of the speaker (reliability — a competence factor, and honesty — a measure of intentions), and the goodwill of the speaker (favorable intentions towards the listener). This has not changed much even today.
Trust is the necessary precursor for:
- For building reliance.
- Cooperating and co-ordination, that is, teamwork.
- Taking attentive risks, and
- Experiencing convincing communication.
A trusting work environment is not just something one can aspire for and dream about, it is a very real thing that can and should exist in any organization that wishes to grow beyond is limited boundaries. Ways that promote trust within an organization are important and crucial.
- Positive, trusting interpersonal relationships with people are qualities that must be sought.
- Develop these skills in all employees and especially those of current administrators and people desiring promotion.
- Information within the organization must be open and be oozing with the elements of trust. Hiding information does not mean that it will never reach them; it just means that the organization is not prepared for a positive thrust based on trust.
- If an organisation cannot keep a commitment, explain what is happening in the situation without delay. Current conduct and measures are perceived by employees as the basis for predicting future behavior.
- Protect the interest of all employees in a work group. Do not talk about absent employees, nor allow others to place blame, call names, or point fingers.
- Appreciate competence in people and tasks. Know what you are talking about, and if you don’t know — admit it.
- Listen with respect and full attention. Don’t just nod your head as if you’ve understood and then speak something that makes the other person feel small or foolish.
- Take attentive risks to improve service and products for the customer.
Engage in trust building and team building activities only when there is a sincere desire in your organization to create a trusting, empowering, team-oriented work environment. Engaging in these activities for any but honorable reasons is a travesty and a sham. People will know the difference, or they will find out, and then, they will never trust you.
Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time. “Trust is not a matter of technique, but of character; we are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.” So fundamentally, trust. Trust is telling the truth, even when it is difficult, and being truthful, authentic, and trustworthy in your dealings with customers and staff.
Trust is the gateway to depth. Let me share with you this poem that I believe, is reflecting the thrust that a thirst for trust only can give:
Winning is good
But it is better to lose
All that would
Make one choose
The thirst to trust
For the sake of thrust
Is a lust
31 January 2016
This article was written 9 years ago and published here on my blog today