What Happens When Trust is Missing in Your Workplace
February 9, 2011
Sadly, many organizations operate in a perpetual state of distrust. Why? For many reasons, but we’ve narrowed the list to these key themes:
· Fear Reigns Supreme
· Status is Power
· Uncertainty Prevails
· Winning at All Cost is the Company Mantra
· Falseness and ‘Superficial Niceness’ Dominates the Culture
Chances are, if you describe your workplace culture using one or more of these clichés or phrases, you are working in the absence of trust. And, you may even believe in your heart of hearts that that’s just the way it is! You believe that you cannot change it; so what do you do? You ignore it, do your job, collect your pay check, and alas, you accept what cannot be changed. Sigh! (Read the Full Article).
Let's take a look at what happens when Fear Reigns Supreme and then work our way down this list in future blogs. As you read, check in with yourself and ask, does this happen where I work? If it does, you'll want to read the whole article to discover how this behavior in your culture impacts the productivity and the trust level among your workforce.
I was speaking to a colleague about a nationally-known home/office security business. I know several people that work there and all report the same thing. When the boss comes in the room, everyone and everything shuts down. Why? Because they are afraid that they will be fired if they say the wrong thing or sometimes if they say anything.
This scenario is evident time and again in workplaces everywhere; especially in institutions (e.g., military, prisons, schools, hospitals, police force, etc.) where the command-and-control leadership style is modeled and learned. We can make a case for having someone in charge in a life and death situation. Barking orders on the battlefield and in the operating room may save lives. But how does this behavior serve in the workplace? Short answer ... fear will motivate when other opportunities do not exist - real or imagined.
By choosing to lead through fear and intimidation, leaders miss out on the power of collaborative thinking more than they might realize. For example, innovation suffers - which is essential for keeping a business afloat - because those who lead through fear, see things only through their lenses. Fresh ideas, new perspectives, and inspired thinking happen when others can freely contribute without fear of reprimand, humiliation, and dismissiveness.
On the flip side, think of a leader at a meeting who asks a simple open-ended question of her team, "What would be possible if ... ?" And then she listens - truly listens - to the responses that others offer. With one question this leader has primed the meeting for trust by assuming that others have answers, ideas, and different perspectives than her own. Imagine how you would feel when your boss comes to you for advice!
Leaders set the tone for the workplace culture. So this simple gesture of trust in the workplace will likely repeat exponentially. Employees will have dialog using open-ended questions to invite others to share their opinions and they will listen to each other because that is what their leader has modeled.
For more ways to build trust in your workplace, register today for Creating WE: Build a Trusting Workplace for Expanded Performance featuring Judith E. Glaser.
(Read the Full Article) of What Happens When Trust is Missing in the Workplace by Marla Emery and Judith E. Glaser.