It has always intrigued me to observe people getting very emotional in their reactions to Social Media posts about someone’s grief, happiness, and achievements, including on LinkedIn which is supposed to be a professional platform. In fact, there are more likes and shares of these posts than others. This indeed shows the humane side of the professionals, which is a remarkable thing and must be so. We tend to believe those stories to be true and respond accordingly, despite not knowing those members personally. We tend to believe that the stories must be true even if it is being told by a stranger or someone whom we hardly know. Maybe those posts are stories written by budding writers who want to hone their literary skills. We never know.
Contrary to this, we tend to disbelieve the facts told by our peers and subordinates when it comes to the dereliction of duties in one way or other at the workplace. Why do we trust posts on social media more but not the people who work with us? Maybe we feel we know these persons inside out, maybe we have an opinion about them. But our perceptions, assumptions, and prejudices about the people are never the complete truth. In fact, we don’t know even ourselves unless we are very much aware of our internal chattering. Maybe we can give them the benefit of doubt! What happens when there is truth in what they are speaking? Won’t it break their trust in us forever?
Managers at every level know that trust is what brings employee engagement and that is what they demonstrate in short supply in dealings with their subordinates, peers, and seniors equally. We may have complete faith in some of them, but the general story is that of disbelief. Is it sensible to believe that the person whom we don’t trust, will put their heart and soul into a joint endeavor to get us to the organization’s goal? I have doubts.
Culture gets a beating every time we do not believe in what someone says in the workplace and equally, in our life beyond the workplace. Culture, which is as important for an organization as much as its processes and systems, never get the focus that it gets in the company’s reports and documents prepared for circulation. Till we leave our minds to deal only with systems and processes and not allow them to interfere in our interactions with people, things will not improve. I have always believed that the mind is for business decision-making and the heart is for relationships. The manager-employee has a relationship. It is neither a process nor a system and the mind will never be able to deal with the issues related to this manager-employee relationship. Despite our tough exteriors, we are all small babies looking for love and appreciation, including the people, who have a trust issue in general.
May I ask for a CTA – Can we allow ourselves to trust someone when we feel that this issue cannot get converted into a big blunder? Try just once a week. Let us try #makingworkplaceshappier.
Join me for a free consultation on how to do it at www.rajeevaranjan.com.