TRUST – a word that comes up in many conversations I have with company leaders.  For example, I spoke with a client last week that said “my upper level staff doesn’t trust each other and employees that are producing don’t trust my upper level staff. Why is this such a problem throughout many organizations?”
Well, I have my own ideas about the “why”.  But first, let’s look at how Webster Dictionary defines trust.
Trust is the belief that someone is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. And from an organizational perspective the definition is… an organization that results from the creation of trust.

The mere definition of the word trust makes the client’s “why” question much more complex than it first appears. Each of us are individuals that are comprised and influenced from our cultural setting, families, friends, personal experiences, workplace experiences and health history.  Can you think of someone you did trust but lost your ability to see them as honest or reliable?
So, is it such a wonder why we can’t see each other’s side of things all the time? Or can you defend your reasoning why you can’t trust a particular employee? The good news is there is a way to improve the levels of trust between employees and that is by embracing our differences through a four step process of “getting to know each other better and what each one needs to feel respected and valued in the workplace”.
The first step to begin this process is to learn more about how each one learns new skills.  Is their preference a lecture or to learn in small steps that are illustrated?  Or, Is their preference to intuitively feel into what is needed and be given the freedom to reach the end result needed for the job? In one scenario the employee needs clear direction and would feel lost and confused on what the employer needed if not given step-by-step directions and in the other scenario, the employee needs less structure and is bored when given step-by-step directions. Both methods can create the same or a similar outcomes and be just as productive but the means by which the learning took place was very, very different. Those differences create judgments between the employees because they don’t have the knowledge to realize both the methods can be effective and support each other.
Want to learn more the other steps to create a more cohesive workplace?  Watch for the next post on this subject which will look at how individuals make choices and how those difference methods create distance between employees.

Carolyn P Fitzpatrick