Friday, April 27, 2012

Trust, Look in the Mirror

We all know what a toxic work environment looks like. We have probably been in organizations where there was very little trust, either going up the organizational tiers or going down. People dread going to work.

I know I've been there, a couple of times.

A few years ago, Harvard Business Review had an article about deciding to trust by Robert Hurley. He identified 10 factors for a person to extend trust. The first three had to do with the person her- or himself. The other seven were more based on the situation.

If a person has a low risk tolerance, they will resist placing trust on others. They will avoid a loss of control and any events that might damage their reputation, emotional health or physical being. Those with high S (stability, security, safety, amiable) or high C (compliance, conscientiousness, analytical) might be slow to trust others till they've proven themselves in terms of dependability, integrity and acceptance.

If a person has a high level of adjustment (i.e. comfortable with themselves), their confidence will allow them to trust others. Otherwise, they might be prone to micromanagement. If a person feels or imagines any sort of threat, trust goes down.

The last of the top three factors is the relative power. It might be easier for those at the top to trust their staffs because they can hold the staff person accountable if he or she proves to be untrustworthy. A lack of trust occurs when you have no power over the other person which is why, Hurley explains, that trust up the chain of command usually has lower results in surveys than trust going down the chain of command. It's difficult for the subordinate to hold the superior accountable. If you're a rebel like me, you may be bold enough to hold your boss accountable anyway. But few are so brash.

If you're in a low-trust environment, it might be worthwhile to look at these factors for yourself and for the others around you.

No comments:

Post a Comment