chapter 4 How to build trust

Most people understand that successful relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Without trust, relationships typically break down through some form of conflict or avoidance behaviour by one or both parties. While trust can take years to build, it can be lost in a moment. With one word, one gesture, one action, a relationship can change forever, regardless of all the good that may have gone before. When it comes to trust, nothing is ‘fair'.

As a manager, you must be conscious of what it takes to build trusting relationships at work. Unlike relationships outside of work, where trust with those with whom you choose to have a friendship or association builds over time, your work relationships are forced upon you (a bit like families!), so more care needs to be taken because the stakes are much higher. This can trigger heightened levels of emotion.

Personal vs professional trust

Let's look at trust in the workplace. First, it is important to establish that there are two types of trust at play — personal trust and professional trust. Personal trust is based on a person's character traits. Professional trust is based on work performance. Research shows that those managers who are the most successful at unlocking higher levels of performance and discretional effort in their teams exhibit both personal and professional trust.

It is important to note that if you manifest one type of trust, this does not mean you will necessarily display the other. ...

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