How Far Can They Throw You?
Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D.
[About the Author]
use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)
Trust has declined in three out of four
workplaces in the past two years, according to a survey conducted by Manchester
Consulting, Jacksonville, Florida. The level of trust in the workplace received a rating
of 5 on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent). "Trust in corporate America is at a
low point," says Lew Stern, Senior Vice President. *
Based on our experience and research, there
is no single variable which so thoroughly influences interpersonal behavior as does trust.
Without it you cannot lead, build a relationship, or influence others. In self-directed
teams, trust takes the place of leadership. You have to consciously work at building and
maintaining this precious commodity. You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.
Trust is questioned where personal risk and vulnerability are present. Picture yourself in
a leadership role, where others depend on your decisions, they are vulnerable. Trustworthy
leaders are trustworthy people and mentors.
How would others evaluate your leadership
behavior in the following ten situations?
1. Your company has recently
sold a product line that will result in transfers, job reassignments, and possible layoffs
for your group. In making these personnel decisions, will your leader:
2. Customer demands
require that one person in your department works on Christmas day. Will your leader:
3. Your leader has committed to
helping you keep your life and work in better balance by being more realistic in their
goals, priorities, and deadlines. Whats your guess:
4. You received a lower performance
evaluation and salary increase than expected. When you ask you leader to explain will
5. Having just attended a fair well
lunch/party for a close associate, you return to the office and are called for your random
drug test. Two glasses of wine punch at lunch, no surprise, a small amount of alcohol is
detected. Will your leader:
6. Your first formal presentation to
the top management committee isnt going well at all, in fact you have lost it. Will
7. There are rumors floating around
about a significant change in direction and reorganization for your department. When
asked, your leader:
8. You have observed your leader in a
variety of situations. How would you describe what your leaders behavior will be in
an upcoming critical client meeting?
9. Having known and worked with your
leader for a number of years, would you say:
10. A decision needs to be made that
will have a huge impact on your career and the direction of the department. Will your
A=10, B=5, C=2
||Implementing and abiding
by procedures that treat everyone fairly will increase the trust others have in you. Not
showing favorites, being willing to take a stand for fairness are critical elements of
this dimension of trust.
||How concerned are you
with the goodwill and interests of others? Actions that place their self interests before
yours is a strong indicator of your genuine concern and sensitivity to their self
||Can you be counted on to
keep your commitments in both the good and bad times? You cant trust someone who
says one thing and does the other or when pressured, conveniently forgets their
||How would others rate
your integrity? Two key elements in their conclusions would be your reputation for honesty
and truthfulness even when this might be uncomfortable. How could others trust someone who
is dishonest or tells only half truths?
reliability, predictability, and good judgement in handling situations will tell others
that you can be trusted. Do you temper all of this with good judgement? Can you be counted
on to "do what is right" even in the face of contradictory circumstances.
||Others trust in
you will increase if they see you as loyal and willing to protect, support and encourage
them. Exhibiting caring compassion, running interference, and allowing you to experiment
in an environment that is non threatening to your self image.
||You can be trusted to be
open, accessible, and share ideas and information freely with others. Can you be counted
on for truthful information? Withholding information causes others to be suspicious of
your motives and loss trust in you.
||Are you predictable,
reliable and responsive in a caring way? How can other trust someone whose actions are
random? No way!
||An indicator of how much
trust others can place in you is your track record. History does repeat itself. Ask
yourself if the evidence supports the case for others trusting you.
||Trust is reciprocal.
Through your words and actions do you openly show others that you trust and respect them
when it really counts? If you dont trust them, how can you expect them to trust you?
Your score, How Far Can They Throw
||Zero gravity, if thrown
you will fly. Your actions are consistent regardless of the person, place, or event. You
care for others, are consistent, do the right things regardless of personal risk and exude
integrity. Congratulations, others find working with you a unique and rewarding
||A rock, sometimes you
skip along the surface, sometimes you sink. Your closest confidants can trust you, others
are not sure, sometimes yes, sometimes no. The word is consistency. Seek out and change
those actions that are sending mixed signals if you want higher levels of trust from
||An anvil, they
cant even pick you up, let alone throw you. You probably find others become quiet
when you walk in the room, seem to weigh their words, and begrudgingly share information
with you. You often feel lonely, the good news is you can change. Look over the quiz and
ask how you can start to behave in a more trustworthy fashion.
*Training & Development,
December 1997, pp. 11.
About the Quiz
By, Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D., CEO, the Center for Coaching &
Mentoring, Inc., a firm devoted to training and consultation in Team Work, Coaching,
Leadership, and Quality. Co-author of Teamwork: We Have Met The Enemy and They Are Us,
The Coach: Creating Partnerships for a Competitive Edge, and Win Win
Partnerships: Be On The Leading Edge With Synergistic Coaching.
For more information call (918) 333-6609