1) Trust, defined by the Oxford dictionary as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something (2018). After watching this week video, it certainly grabbed my attention by how trust could influence the behavior and performance of a whole organization in both positive and negative ways.
According to Robbins and Judge, “trust is a perception that can be vulnerable to shifting condition in a team environment” (2017, p206). The concept aligns with Pauline Voortman’s point of view–uncertainty and vulnerability (2013). It makes someone vulnerable by putting trust into someone else. Betraying trust will cost negative feelings such as fear and anger which will further harm the culture and productivity of an organization. People are looking for predictability and good will to accept vulnerability, thus, leaders should be encouraged to embrace vulnerability by admit mistakes, expose emotions, or show uncertainties, it is the key for creating trust in organizations (Voortman, 2013). What are other ways to build trust in an organization?
As Ben Hempstead mentioned, transparency is essential in creating trusts in an organization (2015). In our organization, we are having an upfront transparent pricing with our clients this year. It not only provides a clear picture for clients but also raises the confidence of our Tax Preparer. There are more predictable, and less surprise. By doing so, our client’s satisfaction has increased dramatically. Plus, based on Jacqueline Oliveira, there are three attributes of trust, competence, integrity, and caring (2016). A leader has to ask questions regarding the three attributes, write it done, review it, and be flexible and willing to make changes (Oliveira, 2016). It also requires time to build trust particularly among people with different background and experiences (Robbins & Judge, 2017 p203). What happens if someone takes advantage of trust?
As stated by Mel Fugate, 98 percent of employees have reported experiencing unethical behavior at work, yet, leaders are rarely had consequences in involving in unethical activities (2015). Unethical leadership creates unethical cultures which reinforce unethical behaviors (Fugate, 2015). Highly ethical leader tend to have followers who are more engaged in the organization and more willing to bring problems to the leaders; high ethical leadership is also acknowledged on reduced interpersonal conflicts (Robbins & Judge, 2017, p230). An organization has to educate employees as well as management teams that legal behaviors do not equal to ethical, nor is all unethical behaviors illegal (Fugate, 2015).
In summary, building trust demands many efforts, such as act with integrity and keep commitments, keep team member informed, listen to employees with respect and full attention, and initiate believe and trust employees first. Small changes can make a huge impact, leaders should have high self-awareness of doing those small things constantly to build trusts.
This week’s videos focused on the concept of trust, accountability, integrity and honesty in an organization. These terms might seem very general and simple, but they form the foundation of successful leadership and productive organizations. I personally liked the TED talk by Mel Fugate the most, where he talks about the differences between ethical and legal liabilities (Fugate, 2015). Unfortunately, most of the forms of unethical behavior are not recognized as illegal, and therefore it allows such wrongdoings to happen and become embedded in the workplace. Leaders play an important part in affecting the performance of those under them, by not only self-indulging in such behavior, but also ignoring and letting it be a constant part of the organization. I have not personally experienced bullying or unethical practices at the places where I worked, but I have heard of these practices from my fellow co-workers. Some of these experiences have resulted in their lack of confidence in certain scenarios and also less trust in the organization. The term ‘if you want to get along, go along’ is very common in workplaces and even universities today and this sort of behavior hinders leadership to clear the ethical liability hurdle (Fugate, 2015).
Such forms of behavior can not only result in lack of performance or confidence, but can also lead to less transparency and unsafe work environments (Hempstead, 2015). Customer-oriented organizations, such as the one that I work in, value customer support and trust as the number one priority. If unethical practices are very common in such places, it can affect reputation and result in a high turnover of employees and customers. Therefore in order to maintain transparency, according to Ben Hempstead, it is very significant for leaders to show credibility and visibility in the work that they perform (Hempstead, 2015).
The book highlights the dilemma between ethical choices of right and wrong that an individual has to choose (Robbins & Judge, 2017). This is not always clearly defined and requires strong judgment and integrity that can also sometimes lead to the disadvantage of the ethically correct individual. This concept of dilemma is later stated in the form of behavioral ethics, along with lying to portray decision making and misinterpret information (Robbins & Judge, 2017). One of the major responsibilities of an authentic leader is to create good moral and ethical values in the organization and set an example for everyone to follow (Robbins & Judge, 2017).
Jacqueline Oliveira highlights a very important link between culture and trust, which is very noticeable in today’s diverse work environment (Oliveira, 2016). People from different backgrounds value integrity and ethics in very different manners, so it’s crucial to keep an open mind while working with diverse groups. Working in a French company, for example, I have noticed that French people value punctuality and honesty the most. They tend to trust people who are regular in office and value the time and honesty of their co-workers.
Legal does not mean Ethical. Eric Holder, former US Attorney General, said that the conduct that led to the financial crisis was “Unethical and Irresponsible”. And some of this behavior – while morally reprehensible – may not necessarily have been criminal” (Fugate, Apr 23, 2015). Legal liabilities are easy to cover and one need common sense to cover. It is “The test of Smarts”. But ethical liability is the “Test of the Character” and is difficult to achieve (Fugate, Apr 23, 2015). Speaker explained why a leader needs to be smart as well as of good character. There are a few cases of fraud and violence that he explained occurred during the last few years in the USA. But those incidences are not isolated, these are the patterns which are real problems (Fugate, Apr 23, 2015). At the same time, these behaviors are tolerated by leaders in respective organizations. We really need to think, are the powerful people are above the law and exceptions for their misconduct and unethical behavior. There are some top-level executives still working in the organizations despite their organizations suffered because of their unethical behavior. Why do organizations ignore these unethical behaviors from top management executives? Why there are no consequences for leaders? (Fugate, Apr 23, 2015). Leaders need to follow the codes of ethics, they should be held accountable for work performance of the peers, they should communicate compliance and non-compliance both and don’t hide bad behavior (Fugate, Apr 23, 2015).
Trust and transparency is important to get entire teams success (Hempstead, Dec 22, 2015). In the video, Ben talked about trust which means minimum bureaucracy and few departments. Trust, autonomy, and responsibility are important factors for employees to remember and value most even after they leave the company (Hempstead, Dec 22, 2015).
Winning mutual trust is an ongoing task, in small and large matters (Voortman, May 23, 2013). Leaders should put core values into the practice which are honesty, integrity, and respect for people (Voortman, May 23rd 2013). Trust is a positive feeling an aspect of relations within a context whereas fear and anger are negative feelings which are also a signal of betrayed trust (Voortman, May 23rd 2013). Most of the leaders trust data and avoid feelings which make them vulnerable. Some leaders think that by showing vulnerability, they will lose control and they can afford that but they should be courageous and embrace vulnerability (Voortman, May 23rd 2013).
For a team to be successful, there are certain factors that can relate to performance. Some of them are discussed here. Leadership and Structure are important in a multi-team environment, where leaders need to delegate responsibility to the team (Robbins, 2017). The climate of trust is another one, trust is the foundation of leadership, trust among the team members facilitate cooperation, reduces the need of monitor each other’s behavior and bonds individual (Robbins, 2017). Team members are more likely to take a risk and exposed vulnerabilities when they can trust others on their team (Robbins, 2017).
Culture is very important in the workplace, it increases productivity, creativity, moral but at the same time, if trust is not present in the company, these results start to decrease (Oliveira, Jun 7th 2016). According to the speaker in the video, the company she was hired is performing poorly and the company thought it might be because of different diversity. But people from different culture show different behavior based on competence, integrity and caring (Oliveira, Jun 7th 2016).
Cultural differences affect team performance (Robbins, 2017). Because can be high culture status member and low culture status member. But instead taking diversity as a negative point, a leader should consider