Monday, November 14, 2005

Trust: Why is it Critical to an Organization?

(Part Two of a multipart series)

How important is building trust in the work environment? History tells us that people have bene interested in trust since Aristotle (384-322 BC). Artistotle suggested that Ethos, the trust of a speaker by the listener, was based upon the listener's perception of the three characteristics of the speaker.

Artistotle went on to state that these three characteristics were:
  • Intelligence of the speaker (or correctness of opinions or competence)
  • Character of the speaker (reliability, which is a competence factor and honesty)
  • Goodwill of the speaker (or favorable intentions towards the listener)

Using these same three characteristics we can see that there hasn't been much change in the workplace today in terms of placing trust in one another.

Research done by others, including Dennis Tway (see Part One of this same series) have shown us that trust is the basis for much of the environment that you, as a leader, want to create in the workplace. Trust is critical and a necessary precursor employees:

  • feeling able to rely upon a person
  • cooperating with and participation as a team within a group
  • taking thoughtful and well-calculated risks, and
  • experiencing believable (or "trusted") communications

Trust is a necessary and critical element for any organization that wants to remain healthy, focused on their goals and to be successful. Lack of trust can be the source of high employee turnover rates, dissension and not reaching a required goal. It is interesting that we, as human beings, have had "trust issues" as far back as time takes us. However, a leader who is interested in achieving success, and building a highly effective work team will study and implement the components needed to establish trust in their working relationships.

Copyright M. A. Webb, 2005. All Rights Reserved


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