Requirements for a Culture of TrustThere are various ways you could describe what a culture of trust1 within an organization consists of. I was drawn to the list of characteristics Dianne Durkin offers in an article in the November issue of Chief Learning Officer because she begins with the quality I put at the top of my own list:
Straigntforwardness: Expectations are clear, disagreements are discussed and resolved and individual performance is discussed and agreed on.Durkin specifies three other characteristics:
Openness: Employees feel they can exchange information and discuss their feelings and opinions, and they do not keep secrets.The outcome of cultivating a culture of trust is a high level of employee engagement, empowerment and loyalty.
Acceptance: Employees are respected for the contribution they make, differences are valued and leadership is shared.
Reliability: Employees can count on one another for support, keep commitments and strive for excellence in everything they do.
1 In a glossary of terms relevant to ethics and law, the University of Nebraska Medical Center offers this definition: "Trust is confident reliance. We may have confidence in events, people, or circumstances, or at least in our beliefs and predictions about them, but if we do not in some way rely on them, our confidence alone does not amount to trust. Reliance is a source of risk, and risk differentiates trusting in something from merely being confident about it. When one is in full control of an outcome or otherwise immune from disappointment, trust is not necessary. It is, of course, possible to rely on other people or on circumstances simply because one lacks other options."