When do you trust someone? Is there a TRAP

January 11th, 2012

I had a conversation with someone the other day about when they thought they could trust one of their staff members. They said the trust had to be earned – what do you think?

Their rationale was that this staff member was new, hence they had to earn the trust of their manager. I took a slightly different view and said that I thought trust should be given as soon as the person started in the roll. I didn’t think it was up to them to gain the trust of the manager, but more importantly to keep it.

Think about it – if you didn’t trust someone, would you employ them? If you didn’t trust someone would you let them work with your customers? If you didn’t trust someone would you allow them access to your business?

Now that’s not to say that you don’t have checks and balances in place for the staff member – they’re vital in any level of an organisation, but if you don’t have that trust in place you’ll be continually looking over your shoulder. Those levels of trust may increase over time, but in the initial stages I believe trust is given not earned.

Trust is fundamental to any business relationship and if that’s not there then neither should be the person involved.

Years ago I recall reading something that suggested you treat people with the acronym TRAP in mind

Trust, Respect, Advice, Praise

Trust – always be prepared to give it

Respect – just like grandma told you – treat others like you’d like to be treated and accept people for who they are

Advice – Only give it when asked or if you are in a position of leadership

Praise – always make an effort to praise people

In my view not a bad way to approach things.

So what do you think, should trust be given or does it have to be earned?

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