Do You Trust Your Boss?
Note: Wrapping up this series about Trust, I thought I would bring it to the one place where most of us have difficulty with trust -with our bosses! Enjoy.Previous installments of my weekly blog from 2013 can be found on my website at http://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/.
We mourned the loss of Nelson Mandela three years ago and still commemorate his greatness as a leader. Still, we would do well to remember that one of the many hallmarks of his leadership was Trust. The greatest leaders in the world gravitated toward Mr. Mandela because he was genuinely trustworthy and his purpose was to support peace, prosperity and unity not only in South Africa – but throughout the world. Mandela was able to lead people in ways that many find impossible to do. As he famously said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”
Unfortunately, trust is in rare supply these days. People are having trouble trusting each other, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted in November 2015, which found that Americans are suspicious of each other in their everyday encounters. Only one-third of Americans says most people can be trusted – down from half who felt that way in 1972 when the General Social Survey first asked the question. Forty-two years later, in 2015, a record high of nearly two-thirds says “you cannot be too careful” in dealing with people.
This same sentiment can be carried over into the workplace, where employees want their leaders to be more trustworthy and transparent. Employees have grown tired of unexpected outcomes resulting from the lack of preparation. They want to be informed of any change management efforts before – not after the fact. Employees desire to know what is expected of them and be given the opportunity to reinvent themselves, rather than be told they are not qualified for new roles and responsibilities and can no longer execute their functions successfully.
Leaders are challenged between informing their employees of the entire truth and holding back certain realities so as not to unnecessarily scare people or lose top talent. More and more leaders today are being placed into uncomfortable moral dilemmas because they are attempting to salvage their jobs while trying to maintain the trust and loyalty of their employees.
The growing tensions between leaders and their employees are creating productivity challenges as uncertainty becomes the new standard in the workplace. Furthermore, leaders are beginning to lose control of their identities and effectiveness as their employees start to lose trust in their intentions because of hidden agendas and political maneuvering – casting