At work, we depend on one another to be consistent and dependable. Both are very important attributes to building trust in the workplace. But what about when a person is consistent AND dependable but you still aren’t able to trust? My theory: congruency. Why? Because it’s how I define that ‘hinky’ feeling I get when I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m not able to fully trust or connect with someone.
Here’s the concept I work with, with regards to trust in the workplace:
When a person’s thoughts and feelings are not inline with what they do and say, the feeling I get is profound. I can’t quite nail it down but I can’t ignore it either. Ya, ya…feelings are considered taboo in the business world but that debate I will leave for another post. Bottom line: feelings/emotions are necessary for business because when we pay attention to them they act as indicators. When you feel that something is ‘up’, or ‘not quite right’, or ‘there’s something you’re just not sure about’ pay attention. Indicators are signs to help us make decisions.
Let’s look at it in another way: being consistent in what you do is action based; there are tangible results. Things happen or they don’t. When your thoughts do not match those actions the in-congruency between the two is what creates the uncertainty for others. Trust does not grow in a garden of uncertainty.
You will not be able to massage or fake your way through. The outcome of having actions that are not inline with your feelings is not being authentic. Show up as you are, mean what you say and say what you mean. Allow people the opportunity to agree or disagree based on full disclosure. THAT is where trust in the workplace begins. In a word, be real. Not a version of who you really are.