It’s no secret that the world is experiencing a crisis of trust. Unpredictable world events and the widening inequality gap has most of us questioning everything and trusting nothing. Even as automation advances, our paranoia increases. Without trust, relationships falter. The people and entities we don’t trust, don’t trust each other either. No one feels safe.
Trust can determine the success or failure of an organization too. Play back memories of places you’ve worked. Think about your worst job. At mine, managers suspicious of their own bosses suffocated us with micromanagement. Since it was obvious no one was looking out for us, we focused on our own survival. Good people left, and others quietly stayed under the radar. The company became a revolving door. Not the best way to attract good talent.
Remember your favorite job? I do. Open communication. Tolerance of diverse ideas. Risk without fear of consequence. Purpose based on the greater good. We all implicitly trusted and supported each other. The atmosphere was collaborative, creative and caring.
Trust is huge in the workplace. HR wants to trust that they picked the right person for the job. The manager trusts the new person will make them look good. Coworkers trust that the new hire won’t make them look bad. The new hire wants to be accepted, but isn’t sure who to trust.
Because it thrives on reciprocation, trust breeds respect, patience, open-mindedness, compassion and instinctive communication. The best teams think and perform as a unit. They’re led by people who:
- give team members choices
- allow mistakes
- are patient
- communicate honestly and openly
- share their goals
- care about others
- coach rather than discipline
Self-interest is the enemy of trust. And trust is essential to life on earth. We’re all complicit in the game. When someone breaks a trust, we see the
world through suspicious eyes. But remember what it feels like to trust and be trusted? This isn’t rocket science.
We can do this. Trust me.