Monday, October 16, 2017

Build a Culture of Trust and Collaboration Part 1

It is essential that supervisors, managers, and HR professionals build a culture of trust and collaboration so that employees feel that they can come to them to discuss any problem that may arise.  It is important to distinguish between trust and liking.  Ideally, employees should like their supervisors, managers and HR professionals, but even if they do not, it is imperative that they trust them to do the right thing.

Trust is confidence in our relationships with others. 
We earn trust gradually. In the book and movie, "The Little Prince," a make-believe little prince visits earth from his own tiny and far-away world to learn about life.  One day, he meets a fox.  He is enchanted by the fox and wants to play with him, but the fox is afraid of him and won't come near him because he doesn't know him.  The fox, sensing the prince's desire to be friends, asks him if he will tame him.  The Prince explains that he would love to tame the fox, but he doesn't know how.  So, the fox then teaches him what he has to do to tame him:

"Every day you must meet me at the same place near the edge of the wheat field, but don't come too close at first.  If you come every day at the same time and to the same place, I will begin to get use to you.  Then each day, you can come a little closer and a little closer, until finally we touch.  When we touch and embrace, I will finally be tamed."

In the scene in the movie, Gene Wilder, who plays the fox, and the little prince are careful to keep their distance as they meet each day, and gradually they get closer and closer.  When they finally touch, they embrace each other and dance around in the woods with excitement and relief because they are so happy to finally be friends.

Developing trust is like taming the fox.  You build a little at a time by consistently meeting the expectations of the other and treating him or her with respect and kindness until you become friends and are comfortable working together.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

1 comment:

Built for Teams said...

I love the example you used to illustrate your point. It fits perfectly. Trust is something that's built brick by brick--it can't be rushed.