Trust is a relatively simple word with a meaning that is challenging to achieve both in the workplace and off the job. We all evaluate the people we work and associate with as a part of being human. Often, we evaluate our level of trust with things other than human behavior including animal behavior or machinery / equipment. We all quickly judge what and who we interact with as to how much trust is justified for the various situations in which we interact. What does it take to be worthy of the trust we value in others?
Just as with the critical success factor of leadership, the business world has written an incredible amount of material on another critical organizational attribute; trust. Recently, I was reading some of Stephen Covey’s thoughts about developing, establishing and gaining trust in the workplace. Trust is a character trait that results from four fundamental practices. When these practices are consistently demonstrated by a person, it results in a trustworthy character:
- Integrity and honesty that results in a consistent reputation for telling the truth
- Excellence of intentions which do not deceive or protect anyone and are without hidden motives or agendas
- Capability, expertise, knowledge and skills in their areas of expertise
- Consistent delivery of positive results over time to establish trust
Living these criteria for being trustworthy is a good objective for safety leaders in all that they do on and off the job.