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Trust Me, I’m Not Like the Others!
Dennis – President, Effective Engineering [email@example.com]
“If people like you, they'll listen to you, but if
they trust you, they'll do business with you.” ~
What’s the difference between a bad and a good organization? How about the
difference between a good and a great organization? How about the
differences between bad, good, and great leaders? Clearly there are many
elements that differentiate organizations, including their leaders, their
people, the work they’re doing, the work environment, and much more.
Likewise, with leaders there are elements such as knowledge, capabilities,
abilities to understand and explain, abilities to work well with people, and
much more. However, I postulate that one of the biggest differentiators
between bad, good, and great organizations and likewise with leaders is the
level of trust that exists in those organizations and with those leaders.
For organizations and leaders to operate effectively there must be trust.
"Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best
in people. But it takes time and patience, and it doesn't preclude the
necessity to train and develop people so that their competency can rise to
the level of that trust." ~
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
What has been your experience when you work with people who you truly
trust? It has been my experience that in such situations you really look
forward to going to work and to working with people you know and trust. You
believe that as a team you can conquer the world.
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”
“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him,
and to let him know that you trust him.” ~
Booker T. Washington
“The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.”
~ Henry L. Stimson
“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than
you work.” ~
Rita Mae Brown
What has been your experience when you work with people who you don’t really
trust? Does that change when that person is your boss? It has been my
experience that when I don’t trust my co-workers or my boss, the working
relationship is strained, the stress levels are high, and the work results
are often not as good as you would like them to be. You often feel that you
have to drag yourself to work, and don’t look forward to interacting with
those you don’t trust. What is worse is when you have a strong trust in
your co-workers or boss, only to have that trust violated by their actions.
“Trust takes years to build, yet
seconds to shatter.” ~
“I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes
suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.” ~
“Trust is the hardest thing to find and the easiest to lose.”
“Trust, like fine china, once broken can be repaired, but it is never quite
the same.” ~
“You should trust people by their actions, not their words. Because a person
might have a heart of gold, but then again so does an egg.”
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” ~
“Trust everybody, but cut the cards.” ~
Finley Peter Dunne
“Trust, but verify!” ~
The topic of trust in organizations and in leaders was raised by my friend
Bruce Haycock of New Zealand. Bruce, a Business Advisor with Advantage
Business of Auckland, NZ (see
www.advantagebusiness.co.nz) has contributed to two prior e-Newsletters
eN-060413 – Who Funds Your Life?, and
eN-060907 – Connect With Your Customers (Even When You Don’t Know Them)!].
I thank him for yet another great topic idea.
Bruce came to this topic based on my recent e-Newsletter
eN-071206 – You Reap What You Sow!. That e-Newsletter described
a call center manager who disrespected his employees, and whose employees,
in return, did everything possible to make his life a living hell. Clearly
this manager needs help somewhere on the spectrum of personal coaching,
counseling, therapy, to getting fired. Needless to say, there is no trust
between him and his employees; in fact, there is outright hatred in both
directions, resulting in a totally dysfunctional organization (see also
eN-050901 – Dysfunctional Families). Trust, or the lack
thereof, can make all the difference between outstanding, functional, and
Bruce mentioned some talking points from a presentation by Kim Haywood-Matty
at a meeting of the Australian Institute of Training and Development in
October 2007 titled “From Silos to Networks: Changing Organizations”.
She had a useful list of questions to include in improving levels of trust
► Do I share personal information about myself, both positive and negative?
► Do I always follow through on what I say I will do? [See also
eN-050804 – Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say, and Do What You Say You’ll
► Am I open and accepting of others without judgments?
► Do I listen to others’ ideas without trying to make them right or wrong?
► Do I keep people informed as soon as I realize I cannot deliver on a
► Do I encourage others to give me feedback if they perceive that I am not
living up to the organization’s values?
► Am I honest with others, able to give constructive feedback to them about
As Bruce stated to me, “when you look at these described characteristics
of organizational trust, you can see it drives directly into personal,
internal capability, effectively one’s own mental and emotional healthiness
to be honest, sincere, and to give and receive the right type of feedback.”
This is well said. Trust is something that should be fostered and nurtured
within an organization, and is something leaders must demonstrate if they
are to earn others’ respect. When people in an organization truly trust
each other, respect each other, and work happily with each other, synergy
can be developed, and the results such an organization can attain can be
nothing short of astounding.
“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And
that's not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don't
think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to
be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep
it, but ‘we’ gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you
to get the task done.” ~
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