I am convinced that T-R-U-S-T is the most important five-letter word in business – not sales or money or any other replaceable commodities. Trust can be fragile, especially in the workplace. Once it’s broken, few companies, managers or employees ever win it back.
At every level of every organization, workers need to understand the importance of keeping their word and living up to the organization’s values. Customers and co-workers want to know they can depend on management. Trust between managers and employees is crucial to the long-term enthusiasm, loyalty, and productivity of the company.
If you have ever been on the receiving end of a broken promise or a warranty that doesn’t cover whatever is wrong with your item, you understand all too well why trust is central to a working relationship.
“Trust is a calculated risk made with one’s eyes open to the possibilities of failure, but it is extended with the expectation of success,” said Robert Levering, former Ohio congressman.
And although I preach this message constantly, I’m always surprised at the people and companies that just don’t get it – they think the rules don’t apply to them. Believe me, they do.
The late Peter Drucker, American management consultant and author, said of trust: “In the ethics of interdependence there are only obligations, and all obligations are mutual obligations. Harmony and trust – that is, interdependence, require that each side be obligated to provide what the other side needs to achieve its goals and to fulfill itself.”
Your “trust fund” grows in many large and small ways. To develop a healthy balance of trust in your work relationships, make these “deposits” every day:
A remarkable example of trust exists in the deep blue sea, an arrangement between the shark and the pilot fish. Sharks, as we know, will eat almost any ocean dweller – except for the pilot fish. In fact, they invite pilot fish to join them for – not as – lunch. The smaller fish act as an automatic toothpick and eat the leftover food between the sharks’ mighty teeth.
In this unlikely partnership, the shark gets clean teeth and the pilot fish get nourished. Both swim away satisfied. And trusting that the next encounter will be just as successful.
Mackay’s Moral: For any successful working relationship, trust is a must.