sepia_stacked_hands.jpg Trust is the key to great workplaces.  This fact is based on 25 years of research by firms such as Gallup and millions of employees surveyed.  It’s virtually impossible to accomplish great things without it.  People will say, it’s not necessary, yet our own experience and history dictates otherwise.  My own history in the workplace taught me that when I was able to establish a relationship of trust with my boss, I could rely on his support for my professional development.  I also had experiences where trust was broken and I had to gauge to what extent I could trust that person.  Some people become cynical when their life experience reflects a series of broken trust situations.  The alternative is to begin with smart trust.  Provide individuals the opportunity to do what they say they will.  Trust is revealed in behavior.  Behavior is the key to the quality of truthfulness.  Consistent behavior reveals the scope of truthfulness or lack of it.  We either trust people to behave honestly or we trust them to behave deceitfully, in varying degrees. Either way, their behavior informs us to take the appropriate action.

New Perspective:

Self awareness is key to a good start.  Be aware of your biases  and personal filters.  Notice if you’re “clean” in your dealings or whether you rationalize that the end result justifies those well constructed means.  Perhaps you are also contributing to a climate of mistrust.  Relationships grow in trust when the interaction is transparent and boundaries are clear.   

  • Make the effort to find common ground  and articulate it
  • Take the step to trust first and test the outcome later
  • Measure to what extent you are willing to accept repercussions of mistrust
  • Make the choice to trust to the level where trust is not broken

“Leaders must be willing to go places where they are not certain they will succeed.”


The fun theory: Check out how Swedish ingenuity persuaded people to take the stairs vs. the escalator!