“Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization !”

trust and betrayal in the workplace_book-review

‘In a social context, ‘trust’ has several connotations. Definitions of trust typically refer to a situation characterized by the following aspects: One party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee); the situation is directed to the future. In addition, the trustor (voluntarily or forced) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome of the other’s actions; he can only develop and evaluate expectations. The uncertainty involves the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave as desired.

There are three different forms of trust. Trust is being vulnerable to someone even when they are trustworthy; trustworthiness are the characteristics or behaviors of one person that inspire positive expectations in another person, and trust propensity being able to rely on people. Once trust is lost, by obvious violation of one of these three determinants, it is very hard to regain. Thus there is clear asymmetry in the building versus destruction of trust. Hence being and acting trustworthy should be considered the only sure way to maintain a trust level.’ (Source: Wikipedia)

The book ‘Trust and Betrayal’ amplifies the causes and effects of Trust in very simple action steps. The underlying principles are transmitted to and understood by the readers through these action steps. It (book) serves as not just help in the workplace but it also serves as an excellent road map to build life long relationships.

When leaders understand the need for trust as a necessary trait among themselves and their followers, things look simple bringing about a positive atmosphere in the workplace. The very word ‘trust’ generates or provokes a large measure of feelings in us. But ‘trust’ means different things to different people. At higher levels in the management hierarchy, it is a quality or ability that cannot be ignored. Many decisions taken cannot be announced to the staff or your team until the moment is right to do so. Management will share all details with only those who are trustworthy and this is what is called the ‘inner circle’ close to the management.

Betrayal is an intentional or at many times it is un-intentional breach of trust or the perception of breach of trust. An intentional breach of trust is always self-serving causing damage, hurt to other persons involved or affected by the breach of trust. While un-intentional breach of trust is a by-product caused by self-serving individuals in the team. Both the resultant situations cause damage, hurt or harm the other persons affected by such an action. Such individuals defend themselves, rationalize their actions but in vain. Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose. First of all, we should realize that business is conducted through relationships and these relationships are based on ‘trust’ as its foundation.

At present times, it is more and more about team-effort and trusting leadership to succeed as a team. When trust is present, everyone is happy and they definitely perform better. In fact, trust can bring out the best from your team members. There is ‘I feel Good’ factor working at the un-conscious level in the minds of team members leading to extra-ordinary efforts to complete the task on time or even ahead of time. In such workplaces, team members collaborate well ; channels of communications open up and the members share their ideas and are not afraid to make mistakes. But when we are betrayed, we immediately become angry, get hurt, remain bitter and resentful in the workplace. We feel like to get out of the workplace by looking for a new job or a new workplace. Similarly, when management finds you not trustworthy, they stop delegating important tasks to you or sideline you from the group meetings etc. Being a good performer or being super-intelligent is not enough to stay on the job. You need to be trustworthy too.

Authors of the book, Dennis and Michelle Reina, provide a useful jump-start to the readers through their complete analysis on ‘trust’ and its effect on relationships in the workplace. They show you ‘How To’ build trusting relationships in the workplace as well as in life. At Rambuna Consultants, we value ‘trust’ as a factor of immense importance and inevitable consequence, when we recruit for our client companies.

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