How to trust “yourself”
Author: Son, Bui Tuan, September 7, 2013
When people mention about communication industry, they naturally associate with the relationship between an organization and its clients. However, a few people think that building trust in internal organization is more difficult than building credibility for customers. Internal trust in an organization is also considered as a foundation for reinforcing trust with customers. Thus, creating trust in internal organization is an interesting and important topic that people have to understand clearly as a client management practitioner.
Ms. Dương Thuỳ Phương Châu, 32 years old, is holding the director position of SHP Media Company. SHP media was established in 2012 by Mr. Bùi Văn Hải who has 8 years of experiences in working for PR and media industry. SHP media provides diverse services including editing films, recording music and organizing events. Before working for SHP, Ms. Châu worked for HD Bank 5 years in marketing manager position so when she switched to work for this company in this position, it really difficult for her to receive trust from Mr. Hải and other employees. Thus, she has diverse experiences on how to obtain trust from her boss and other employees within SHP.
Figure 1: I was interview with Ms. Chau
Building trust from the boss
The first thing to impress and make a manager trust in an employee is the demonstration of ability from the employee. It means that everything must be under the control of the worker (Stewart 2010). In fact, the issue was happened for Ms. Châu. At the first time when she worked with Mr. Hải, she continuously received diverse negative words from him because she could not complete a small contract. “When you have just enter a new industry, the first year become a challenging time for you, everything is new, you will have to start with 3 zeros: zero trust, zero experience and zero friendship” said Ms Châu. At this time, her strategy was very simple. She continuously gained knowledge about the industry on the Internet and books, learned from her subordinates and Mr. Hải and contacted with every prospects to find any contracts. She believed that without experiences, trust and friendship, she could still prove her abilities. Finally, she signed an important contract with Phuong Dong Bar and she successfully organized an event for them by herself. After that, Mr. Hải gave her commissions as the recognition for her ability. “After the contract, he took me when he met customers. Then, I operated more contracts”, she said. It demonstrated that she has ability in operating a contract, willingness to study new things and competence to adapt with new environment. As Jaussi and Dionne (2003) argued that the attributes are appropriate with characteristics of a leader.
Figure 2: Reproduced from Fisher 2011
Building trust from employees
Besides building trust from boss, trust from employees has to be created and reinforced. Workers within an organization are usually interdependent so they have to depend on others to achieve individual and organizational objectives (Mayer, Davis and Schoorman 1995). The characteristics are similar to the situation of Ms. Châu. As a leader, she will have to win her subordinates trust by providing guidance, leadership to help them achieve the company’s goals and treat them as a family. “There are many ways that you can win outside clients trust: you can give them frequent call, bring them the best service you can, ask for their problems and take care of them like a friend… Even if you do not take good care of them and they leave, you only lost a client, you can always get a new one but it is not the same for your colleagues”, said Ms. Châu. To Ms. Châu, internal trust between employees and boss is crucial because it will affect the performance of the company. The big question here is “how can you build trust with a strangers?”. Ms Châu’s method of winning her subordinates trust is all about emotional strategy. It will take time for everything to work, especially trust. Ms Châu used her time to listen, concern with and care about her subordinates to win their friendship first. “It is important to build friendship in the workplace first, you will have to be sure that they are comfortable with your presence and willing to share everything with you. That is how you can learn from their experiences too.”. Once you can win friendship the rest of it depends on your vision and leadership skill to guide your employees to success. In contrast with Galford and Drapeau (2003) who state that various employees think that senior manager usually says anything that their employees would like to hear. When the employees shared their problems with their senior manager, if the senior manager does not take action, their trust will be reduced significantly and leaded to negative effects on performance of the company.
Figure 3: Reproduced from Business Fitness 2010
Different industry will have different requirements for a manager as well as different ways to earn trust. While the media industry usually needs a manager who can inspire them to create, the financial industry needs a manager who had many years of experiences. Every work in the banking environment need to be done in an accurate way therefore a deep experience manager will help to solve problem easier. The manager will gain trust from their colleagues as they lead them through problem and showing their deep knowledge. In contrast, media industry needs a manager who can put together a good group and motive them to create. It is very similar with Kotter (1990) who believed that a strong motivation can provide energy for workers to overcome every problems and difficulties of creativity.
In conclusion, creating and enhancing trust within an organization is a difficult process that all client management practitioners should grasp because it influences workplace atmosphere. From this point, it affects their behaviors and performances with their clients. To effectively build trust in internal organization, a manager should demonstrate that they have competency in control. Then, the manager should enhance trust among employees as a leader to help them perform well. However, whether the manager successfully builds trust with the staffs, it depends on the way they communicate with the employees. In my opinion, the effectiveness of building trust also relies on characteristics of each staff. Thus, a manager should not only apply a building trust strategy for the whole organization, the manager should be flexible in treating different people.
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Business Fitness 2010, ‘Bosses Who Don’t Get It | Taking Issue’, image, Business Fitness, viewed September 7, 2013, < http://www.dawnlennon.com/2010/04/ >
Fisher A 2011, ‘5 ways to manage your autocratic boss’, image, CNNMoney, viewed September 7, 2013, < http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/06/5-ways-to-manage-your-autocratic-boss/ >
Galford, R & Drapeau, A S 2003, ‘The Enemies of Trust’, The Leadership Quarterly Leading for Innovation, vol. 14, Issues 4–5, pp.90.
Jaussi, K S & Dionne, S D 2003, ‘Leading for creativity: The role of unconventional leader behavior’, The Leadership Quarterly 14, pp.477.
Kotter, J P 1990, ‘What Leaders Really Do’, Harvard Business Review, pp.93.
Mayer, R C, Davis, J H & Schoorman F D 1995, ‘An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust’, The Academy of Management Review, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 710.
Stewart, M 2010, ‘Theories X and Y, Revisited’, Oxford Leadership Journal, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. 3.