Working with people you trust makes the most sense. Building trust can be a delicate pursuit. Is it really trust you are after, or are you looking for faux harmony?
Nearly everyone in the workplace will agree that they want trust. They want their co-workers to trust their ideas, contributions, and promises. Yet nearly everyone has a story of deceit, promises and contributions that weren’t kept, and how a defensive position feels safer.
The concept then takes on a different goal, the goal of safety.
Challenging the status quo is not an option because you’ll end up on the list of people who are struck from advancement.
So you don’t make any waves. You navigate the system carefully and do everything that you can to fit in, quietly.
When your pursuit becomes the pursuit of safety that really means you’re goal is to fit in. Fitting in is important. Often the person with the best fit is the person who gets hired. Fitting in is a good strategy in certain situations, but it also a challenging strategy when you seek advancement.
The quickest way to be overlooked is to fit in, perfectly. The quickest way to start building trust is to keep your commitments, do good work, and do it consistently.
A culture of workplace trust means that people know what to expect and when. Conditioning everything you do based on fitting in doesn’t mean you’ll be trusted. It means you’ll be another face in the crowd.
A crowd that is always silent and stands for nothing is an untrusted crowd. Trust isn’t always about fitting in. In fact, those who are truly trusted probably never fit perfectly.
For some, the situation creates who they are, and for others they create the situation. Being trusted is more important than faux harmony. Building trust is not the same as working to fit in.
No one said it would be easy.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.