Who trusts ya, baby

David Maister wrote a book years ago, targeted at consultants wishing to forge stronger relationships with clients, The Trusted Advisor. The issue of trust swirls around the workplace constantly. How do people work with each other across regions, cultures and silos if they’re unsure of each others capabilities, efforts, worthiness; how do they trust each other?

As he noted, trust is like ballroom dancing if it is going to work–one leads and one follows. There must be one person trusting, and the other person must be trusted or you can’t dance two steps–it’s not often a relationship of equals.

Some of Maister’s “trust” checklist are applicable within the organisation–think about these when relating how you work with your superior, or conversely, how you manage your team:

The more you are trusted, the more others will:

  • Reach for your advice
  • Allow you to be comfortable
  • Be inclined to accept.. your recommendations
  • Give you the benefit of the doubt
  • Bring you in on more advanced, complex and strategic issues
  • Share more information that helps you help them
  • Involve you early on when their issues begin to form and take shape
  • [Introduce] you to their friends and business acquaintances
  • Lower the level of stress in your interactions
  • Give you the benefit of the doubt
  • Protect you when you need it
  • Warn you of dangers you might avoid
  • [/list]

    Where are you on this list when it comes to your interactions at work? How are you viewed, understood, respected, listened to.

    As is always said, trust must be gained, not simply given, and above are a few thoughts on where you might be in that trust scale.

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