When You Are Not to Be Trusted

Authors Dennis and Michelle Reina have spent decades studying issues of trust in the workplace. A commonly held misconception is that a breach of trust in the workplace has to be serious -- like the CEO committing fraud or a manager being accused of a crime. The fact is that there are breaches of trust that happen daily. Here are five breaches of trust that you probably didn't even realize that you may have been guilty of:

1. Failing to acknowledge a colleague’s efforts:

We’re all moving fast, and sometimes we forget to say “good job” or even the most basic “thanks.” This is more than manners, it’s about respect. One of the subtle and yet insidious betrayals people experience at work is not being fully seen or heard. Not being recognized hurts at an innate level, and it doesn’t take too many missed “thank you's” to add up to deep-seated resentment.

2. Missing a deadline or two:

Life happens and you miss a deadline here and there. No big deal, right? Wrong. Each time you don’t deliver, you are making the implicit assumption that others are available to work around your schedule. You betray trust because someone — your boss, your colleague, your assistant — was depending on you. Each time you miss a deadline, you reinforce their perception that you think you’re more important and that they can’t depend on you.

3. Arriving late for meetings:

When you consistently arrive after the scheduled starting time, you’re breaking trust because your colleagues sense that you’re wasting their time and that you may possibly think that your time and your job are more important than theirs. They end up feeling disrespected, insulted, and devalued. Over time, those feelings define your relationship, and trust begins to erode.

4. Micromanaging:

Most micromanagers are surprisingly unaware that they are micromanaging. You may think you're paying attention to details and being thorough, but those you manage feel that you are watching and just waiting for them to mess up. That’s really how employees experience micromanaging. They get the sense that you don’t trust them to get the job done. And if you don’t trust them, why should they trust you? Trust begets trust. Mistrust begets mistrust.

5. Discourteous, insensitive or rude behavior:

Before your second cup of coffee, sure, you might bark an order or two. And when things get rolling, you lose your temper now and then. Hey, that's just how you are, right? Wrong. Even if you’re nice as can be much of the time, your outbursts may well damage your relationships. You're showing that your behavior is unpredictable and brash. When people don’t know what to expect, they are less likely to trust you.

Have you been on the receiving end up these behaviors? How did you feel? And if you’ve inadvertently acted in these ways, how did you turn things around?

Don't Hold On!

Peggy Holman knows a lot about change in organizations and communities and she wrote Engaging Emergence to help people not only deal with unexpected and chaotic change, but even come out ahead by engaging it proactively.

But proactive engagement means letting go of some things just as much as discovering new things. To help you navigate, Peggy presents her list of The Five Things We Need To Let Go Of To Effectively Deal With Emergence:

1. Give Up Command and Control.
Ever tried to tell a complex system what to do? Imagine ordering the health care system to be affordable and accessible! We can't control a system but we can engage it so that order arises.

Example: Open source software. What principles and practices inspire thousands of programmers to contribute millions of hours to create software for public use?

2. Give Up Habit and Routine.
If we keep doing what we've always done we’ll keep getting the same old results. Let go of the stories that define “the way things are” and try something different.

Example: Using fossil fuels. What alternatives can eliminate, reduce, or better serve our energy needs?

3. Give Up Top-Down Decision-Making. When the situation is complex, no one can grasp it all, much less have all the answers. It takes multiple perspectives and skills to make a difference.

Example: Google employees spend 20% of their time working on something of their own design, resulting in such products as Gmail and Google News. What’s the benefit of creating conditions in which people follow their passions in service to something larger?

4. Give Up the Existing Order. When we know how things work, we can keep it neat and tidy. If we want innovation, expect to dip into the unknown. While it may be messy, ultimately, order can arise anew.

Example: Journalism as we have known it is dying. Between the holes created by its demise and the many new experiments underway, the current landscape confusing! What is possible as a new system is born?

5. Give Up Thinking That You Have the Answers. When we think we know, there’s no need to learn or to change. Questions that spark curiosity focus our intentions and invite those who care to participate.

Example: An inquiry being pursued by the National Institute of Corrections: “How do we reduce the prison population by half while maintaining public safety, in eight years?” What question inspires you?

Thoughts, responses, reactions? Chime in below.


I Think I Love You

Built to Love's authors Peter Boatwright and Jon Cagan explore how truly successful products address a customer's emotional needs by delivering something that satisfies on a much deeper level than even what the consumer may realize. Because of this, the consumer loves the product and the product's creator has garnered a loyal customer for life.

And how do customers fall in love with particular products? Believe it or not, it's not really all that different from how people fall in love with one other. The authors describe their six-stage courtship process below:

Step 1: Casual interactions (otherwise known as dating)

At the outset of any relationship, certain details can get things started, or prevent them from getting going. Looks, for example; but of course it goes beyond looks. Each and every interaction of the potential customer with the product or service is a touchpoint, a point at which that potential customer may receive value. Since the product’s appearance creates emotional takeaways for customers, whether planned or unplanned by the company, the design of each aspect of the product form should be intentional and calculated as a means to deliver specific and desired emotions. The same is true with other points of interaction.

Step 2: A courtship where initial attraction turns to love (the getting to know someone or some thing for more serious consideration)
If a customer is going to get serious, the product has to really deliver. But it has to do more than deliver on a performance task. The customer will really get serious when the product doesn’t just do the right things, but it makes them feel the right ways. And feeling is what it takes for them to fall in love, which leads to...

Step 3: Engagement
Once engaged, people are attached. Once attached, people are engaged. Emotions reach us deeply, engaging us to respond. It is emotion that instigates people to tell others about the products that they own, creating word of mouth that is the most powerful marketing force in today’s networked marketplace. Brides show off their rings; engaged customers show off the products that they love.

Step 4: Long term commitment... and satisfaction.
In the committed relationship, one with daily interaction, positive (or negative) emotions are maintained and renewed with each experience, eventually outweighing those felt early in the relationship. In the same way, product emotions are ongoing, substantiated and renewed with each product experience, and product emotions have the power to completely replace emotions surrounding the original purchase decision. So unlike the emotions designed to get a quick sale, here today and gone tomorrow, product emotions are the “feel-good” aspect of the product, those that endure for the lifetime of product use and maintain loyalty.

Step 5: Becomes an extension of who you are... and part of your identity

Just as there is a oneness in marriage, where each person becomes part of the other, captivating products become part of the customer’s identity, a badge of who they are. Some people are iPhones, others are Blackberries. Some are Starbucks, others are Dunkin’ Donuts. It wouldn’t feel right to have it any other way.

Step 6: Can't see yourself happy without it
As people in love anticipate and expect their time to be spent together in order to be happy, so is the relationship between the happy consumer and his or her product. People who fall in love with a product can’t see themselves without it.. providing strong impetus for eventual re-purchase of that product, as it wears.

In love yet? Tell us!