Trust: Keystone of Relationships

by Michael Haberman on July 20, 2009 · 0 comments

I am reading up on the use of social media in marketing and PR. One of the books I am reading is Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans. In the book Evans starts the entire discussion on the topic of TRUST. He is talking about whether consumers will trust your message. That got me to thinking about trust and what a foundation it is for most everything we do in relationships. Whether it is through social media, regular media, books, TV or whatever form you choose. Walter Chronkite just passed away and in the many accolades showered on him was the phrase “The most trusted man in America.” We (those of us that ever saw him on TV) trusted that what he was reporting was the truth. People who violate the trust we put in them suffer for it. Witness Dan Rather.

We all know the importance of trust in our personal relations. Violations of that trust cause alot of emotional hurt and fuel an entire industry of divorse lawyers. Violations of trust estrange friends, and children, and parents and spouses. Trust can be regained but it takes alot more work to do so than would have been necessary to keep it in the first place.

Trust is also equally important in the workplace. It is the keystone to working relationships as much as it is in personal relationships. You have to trust that your supplier will deliver, that your customer will buy, that your employees will work faithfully and that your boss will support you the way that was promised. Becky Regan, writing for the Compensation Cafe wrote a post entitled Build Employee Trust By Treating Employees Fairly, Not Equally. It is an excellent post on how important trust is in a working relationship and how that trust is built through fairness rather than equality. She points out the errors many managers make by using the misguided principle that equality equals fairness. It doesn’t. We all work at different paces, with different efforts and different results. We don’t necessarily deserve, because we have not earned, the same outcomes. This is explained by Adam’s Equity Theory (click for an explanation).

So how can you become a better manager using fairness to build trust? I would suggest you read Regan’s blog post by clicking the link above. It is very instructive and it is well written so I figured you should enjoy it personally rather than hear it from me.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Linda Farley July 20, 2009 at 10:38 am

I think many organizations talk a good "trust" game, but it is not demonstrated in behavior. I blogged about this on my blog, "Corporate Walls That Lie" and "Trust" Linda Farley


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