TRUST- A Value to Cherish
Trust is having confidence in the fairness and reliability of a person or organization. Trust is also a value that defines our interdependence in relationships, personal or professional. Trusting someone is a choice we make towards them when we are inspired that they have either earned our confidence or are by some other means worthy of it.
It is difficult to gain, and when broken even harder to redeem, so perhaps more effort should be put into keeping someone’s trust. And perhaps the greatest value of trust is not what we make with it, but rather what that trust changes in us on our quest to become people who are worthy of receiving it.
Why spend time developing and cultivating trusting relationships in the workplace? Put simply, trust in the workplace is necessary to organizational success. You cannot improve results by yourself; you need others’ support and assistance. Exceptional leaders know they must rely on those who share their vision and goals.
Trust is very personal. That is, we put ourselves in a position of vulnerability when we trust others, so our wellbeing rests partly in their hands. In a way we relinquish control of some parts of our lives to those individuals, we have a personal interest in the outcome. Our hope is that their actions will justify the faith we have entrusted to them, and that they will live up to our expectations.
“Trust is the only currency with any value.”
What does trust “look like” in the workplace? Here are a few of the behaviors that are identified as indicators of a trustworthy management.
- Follow through with what you say you will do.
- Walk the talk and keep promises.
- Actions are consistent with the stated values.
- Do the right thing even when there is pressure not to do so.
- Stand behind whatever you are asking someone to do.
- Make decisions based on what’s good for the organization.
- Back employees up.
- Have faith that the employees can do the task without checking; don’t doubt them.
- Keep confidential information confidential.
Some of these points represent important elements of trust, such as having faith in others, acting consistently, and being fair. There is an element of exchange in trusting relationships, which means we expect that both parties will give and receive trust. This concept of exchange is particularly important in situations characterized by a very low level of trust, and neither party wants to take the risk of trusting the other. Sometimes we have to give trust to others before we can expect it in return. It is a value that requires on-going effort, an investment of time and attention.