Do you trust obedient people

Management blog

Book excerpt Diana Roth: “Trust mistrust. This is how the world of work ticks. "


Diana Roth (Photo: PR)


Trust and power

Power can do a lot of good. Trust too. A perfect couple? Theoretically, because in practice, power and trust are usually and regrettably mutually exclusive.

Power is a powerful word and one or the other flinches at its sound. Too many people (in my opinion) view power negatively and associate it with abuse. Most employees have an ambivalent feeling about power and think first of all of superiors who are passionate about themselves.

"Whoever lives power mistrusts!" A sentence from my father. As an entrepreneur, he lived power.

Power is exercised wherever there is mistrust. Power can be obsessed with distrust: Who really plays with open cards in their professional life? The everyday slyness on the carpet floor shows it: preach trust - live mistrust. Wherever power structures prevail in companies, there is also mistrust!

I have often observed that the knife whispers of the lametta fraction in particular keep the upper hand. They gamble away the trust in their own team with exposure and proclaim it as necessary plain language: There is no one who would regret it more, but what must, must ...


Means - power - motives

The means by which superiors gain power, for example, are varied and often obscure. Expertise can be beneficial and favor power - but mostly it's more internal cliques or stories. Employees trust managers who are true experts in their field. And they distrust them when they use their power to do so.


In contrast to trust, power is ubiquitous in working life. Especially for people who consciously embark on a managerial career, power is a strong motive for action. Trust is not at the top of their hierarchy of values, but topics such as status, opportunities to participate and responsibility. It happens when you confuse the formal power of your leadership position with your power as a person.

People who consciously live power in their everyday work often act too impulsively, inappropriately and show clear dominance behavior. You scare off employees who want to trust. Power can bring out the worst in people - or as Abraham Lincoln put it: "If you want to recognize a person's character, give them power!"

Authorized superiors then tend to exploit their power and do not even notice how they are squandering any culture of trust.


Power and distrust

Power and distrust - the common denominator is more than the same initial letter. They both rise above others. Both are lived every day. If you need evidence, just watch the actors in the next meeting. The role play of ego and self-esteem, indispensable for power and self-esteem, will reveal itself to you.

Do you know the difference?

Power is addicting. It is needed, even more abused. How trust!

Mistrust does everything to confirm yourself again and again.

Not only superiors, but also colleagues live power strategies: The one who was appointed crown prince. The one who has to show off at every opportunity that he is better positioned. The chief whisperer, the slipper ... And nobody even seems to suspect it: It is a weakness to rest solely on the assigned or hard-earned position of power.


Industrial relations - conflicts of trust - power situations

My years of work in human resource management were often determined by conflicts of trust that arose as a result of working situations. Leading also means: showing power and living it. As a HR manager with more than thirty years of professional experience, I have never met a manager who has lived his claim to leadership or enforced decisions without power.

Confidence in working life is an essential component in working relationships. Before a good new working relationship can be established, however, there is above all the almost self-evident, but at least habitual, distrust of the power man. Employers and employees alike give away a lot of opportunities at this point, make working life unbearably difficult for each other - up to the surrender or destruction of the »opponent«. Thankfully, a modern style of leadership that dispenses with words such as command and obedience is becoming more and more prevalent. Instead, he grants the employees freedom, enables them to have a say and wants the trust they have.

When I worked in the IT industry, my business card didn't say Diana Roth, HR manager. It said: Diana Roth, co-designer. A single word with an incredible impact. Because it wasn't zero eight fifteen. Because it was real. No eight-fifteen employees worked in this company, but real co-designers. What a difference.


One company - two decisive powers

In the world of work, position power and relationship power are clearly shown to me again and again. Both powers play with trust and distrust. And the people who exercise these powers because of their position play with their influence.

For example with the power of legitimation:

In his role as head of the secretariat, Manfred S. has the legitimation to give orders and instructions. The way he does it either fosters trust or distrust.

Rainer K. celebrates his sanctioning power every day. His influence as head of finance is based almost entirely on control. The results are either rewarded or punished. Most employees distrust him.

Anne D. is HR manager. She has absolute information power in the company. Their influence is based on access to relevant information. She lives out her position to the full. In every meeting she proclaims data protection and emphasizes her sole control over the data. Superiors who get on well with her get one or two bits of information. Anne D. is seldom trusted - she stirs up suspicion. She knows and she doesn't want it any other way. “You don't have to love me, just work for me!” She says.

Relationship power is completely different:

Bernhard P. is the only employee in the company who has expert status for the new software and has extensive knowledge. He enjoys the expert power that he has. His colleagues accept this and can learn from him. Bernhard P. is not loved, but respected. There are doubts as to whether he can always be trusted, but his expert status is undisputed.

Eva M. heads a marketing department. Her work ethic and her personality make her a shining example for many employees in the company. It stands for a power of identification that is respected and sometimes admired. Eva is trusted because she only gives before asking for anything.

And then there is Michael B. He has an enormous personal charisma. His charismatic appearance and work give him a position of power that neither needs an explanation nor provokes rejection. Employees trust and follow him.


Three factors in building trust

In order to make the exercise of power superfluous and in return to strengthen trust, know and use the three relevant factors - and everything is possible:

Factor 1 - wanting

Every employee has their own motives and goals. As a manager, encourage trust by recognizing and addressing these motives and goals and motivating your employees to always express them.

Factor 2 - the ability

Every employee has an individual level of performance. Work and private life shaped and matured them. In addition to specialist skills, social and personal skills are also important resources. With them, the employee can solve tasks and achieve a given goal. Knowing the skills of employees promotes trust.

Factor 3 - being allowed

Willingness and ability are good, but only being allowed to make it possible to build and consolidate a healthy basis of trust. Does an employee want to take on the new project? He has all the skills and abilities? Then let him do it now. Show confidence, say: »You can! Here is the scope for action, that is the framework. If that's okay with you, then implement it. "

Willing, being able and allowed are interdependent and influence one another. I even go so far as to claim that willingness, ability and may are the driving forces behind any trust that incorporates a healthy mistrust.

 reflection

When was the last time you wanted, could, or were allowed to?

How did you act?

How do you rate the result?

What are the findings from the situation?

Write down your conclusion in one sentence.

Who pays the bill?

Someone wants you to trust them. A wish is brought to you, a request, an action. How good that you know: trust is voluntary. You can trust. But you can leave it alone.

Or the other way around: someone wants to place their trust in you. You know: you don't have to accept it, but you can if you want. And you don't even have to give away trust yourself. You don't only show sympathy when you feel someone else, do you?

If so, then the matter of trust will "only" be a barter for you. In this case, however, you should not be surprised if the distrust you have given comes back to you as the same distrust and not as the trust you may have demanded. After all, as a consolation, I would say: you are not the only one. I experience this every day in my work life: there is mistrust and trust is demanded.

Again, this swap doesn't work. Trust because you want to trust and not with the expectation that you have to trust. Or that there will be a reward for it. Trust is voluntary and should be largely free of any expectations.


Does trust pay off?

Who pays the bill in the end? Questions that are asked often. My observation over the past thirty years has been that when trust is placed and then abused, the following often happens:

The trust-giver (for example the supervisor) gets a few problems, is reprimanded from above, and may have to answer questions. And then he can go on.

The trust-taker (for example an employee) rarely gets a second or third chance, this often has to do with the history in his personnel file or with the character of the trust-giver. He receives a notice of termination.

Diana Roth: “Trust mistrust. That's how the world of work ticks. ”- 264 pages, 14.95 euros, Business Village


In Switzerland, the labor laws are formulated less clearly and demanding than, for example, in Germany, where the legal framework is different and more complex. For example, a company in Switzerland can terminate an employee with an ordinary notice period simply because the employee has abused the trust placed in him. "Hard facts" or evidence are not required. It is sufficient if the employer only has the feeling that he can no longer trust the employee due to a certain situation.

Trust is therefore a subjective matter. The risk: This matter can be handled and assessed as you wish. Any rhetoric of trust degenerates into a farce.


Informers - that's how easy it is to sabotage trust

A practical example from my time as a HR manager in the fashion industry.

Many branches and one head office - this is where I worked. It was very relaxed: the greatest possible freedom, self-determination and self-organization, hardly any rules and no control of working hours. The main thing was that everyone was satisfied and happy and that business was going - and it was, as the sales figures showed.

In the logistics department there was the »Kässeli« (Swiss German for cash register), from which cash withdrawals for supplier services were taken. Ms. Z., who has been with the company for twenty years, has probably always managed our money box and has always been solely responsible for it.

One day a warehouse employee informed the management in confidence that he suspected that Ms. Z. was a little negligent with the cash register. He had no evidence, but had a good sense for irregularities. He would recommend checking Ms. Z.'s cash register. The management, however, was not willing to support his denunciation and did not act.

And yet Ms. Z., who had enjoyed an impeccable reputation up to that point, was increasingly viewed critically. At some point the CFO got the job to check the money box. Seventy cents were missing. Change - the shortcoming had no consequences.

At the second inspection at a later date, however, eighty Swiss francs were missing. And the chief financial officer found that entries were imprecise and statements were incomprehensible.

Mrs. Z. had no explanation. She suspected someone else might have gotten the key to the till and took the money. There was no proof of the assumption. And Ms. Z. paid an expensive bill: She was properly dismissed - since there was nothing to prove to her. The informer was transferred, because here too the trust was gone. And the money box came into the care of the chief financial officer.


Mistrust in a company is like weeds in the garden

At first, distrust grows unnoticed and unnoticed in a dark corner. Roots in the brain, settles in and then thrives splendidly. At some point it is greater than trust, pushes it aside, takes away light and hope.

Mistrust rarely needs to be justified. It's a generally accepted gut feeling. Everyone has, right? And although there is also a gut feeling, good reasoning is almost imperative when it comes to trust.


The trust accounts

With this in mind, it is time to bring the so-called trust account into play. Everyone has several of these trust accounts. Debit on the left, credit on the right. Each person has their own booking system for this purpose. Colleagues, bosses, HR managers and thus also the company keep such trust accounts in a professional context. The same will also apply privately.

In contrast to the financial accounting accounts, which are filled with verifiable numbers, the trust account is filled with subjective sensations and feelings.

The best way to illustrate this and use it as an example: The »Kässeli« incident.

Ms. Z.'s trust account could have looked like this before the incident:

Debit credit

Twenty years of good

Collaboration is a loner


Always friendly and loyal

No complaints

Rarely sick

Within three months of the denunciation, the focus was increasingly on the credit side. There were rebookings, the weighting changed. Just before she was released and after the second incident, the account looked like this:

Debit credit

Mostly friendly Is a loner, even though she has been with the company for twenty years

Rarely complaints Inconsistencies found in the till on May 10th; The amount is 70 cents

More inconsistencies in the box office on July 10th;

80 Swiss Francs determined.

Noticeable increase in their absenteeism

Mistrust of their colleagues

Incorrect execution of their work

Blind trust harms companies and employees

This company refused to monitor its employees or even formulate expectations of them. Everyone lived blind trust every day without considering the associated risk for everyone involved. If the unexpected happened then, the system was hopelessly overwhelmed. You overreacted and knew only one option: resignation.

Since that incident, I sometimes have a lot of distrust in myself. I often think I should have intervened. I worked in the human resources department. But I just couldn't do it, didn't raise my objections because at the time I saw myself as the company's vicarious agent.

"Friendship ends when there is money!" Said Grandpa Heini not just once. Unfortunately, I have to agree with him in this case.

 And now it's your turn

Please select a person to work with. Whether it is the boss, the teammate or a supplier is of secondary importance.

Take fifteen minutes to fill out your trust account sheet.


Preach trust - live mistrust

There it is: Our CEO Benjamin Muster. He has just come to the company from the number 1 management forge in St. Gallen.

He is exemplary, almost perfect!

He lives a modern leadership style and mentions it at every opportunity. The transformational leadership style has done it to him.His zeal is clearly noticeable, as is his trend towards romanticizing leadership.

CEO Benjamin Muster communicates a clear and attractive vision and explains to the target audience how we will achieve it as a company. He uses memorable and symbolic actions to emphasize the company's values. He acts with confidence, his basic attitude is pure optimism.

And he gets entangled in prose of trust. At least twice a day he says that he trusts his employees. He emphasizes that the high level of trust he places in each individual employee promotes their self-efficacy. He doesn't want any dependencies. But the inflationary emphasis on trust has the opposite effect on the employees who had been led by his father for almost thirty years. Concentrated distrust strikes the boy. The employees cannot follow his vision and the sudden change in culture.

Benjamin Muster struggles and toil, tries to earn respect and trust, repeatedly demanding the trust of employees. He has one goal: more loyalty and enthusiasm among the employees - for his vision of the future of the company, for his idea of ​​a new culture of trust and a little bit for himself too. When the professor for leadership had explained it during his studies, it all seemed to be a lot easier.

After four months, Benjamin gives up. It became clear to him that declaring and proclaiming trust does not automatically mean receiving trust.

Benjamin is disappointed with his failure and he is afraid for the company. The best customer has dropped out, the bank demands immediate repayment of a loan and he feels distrust everywhere. Only the finance manager and the sales manager, both of whom were already close to his father, stand by him. He has to and he wants to change something! Giving up is still not an option for him.

He has three options:

• He does not take any further risk, which means: There is no more leap of faith, the employees had their chance;

• He calculates the risk of failure in the belief that it will somehow go on;

• He tries to ensure through controls that the risk remains within a calculable framework.

Benjamin may be a bit impetuous, but in any case intelligent. He got it: What sounded so incredibly simple at university is not feasible - at least not in this company, with an average age of forty-nine and a fluctuation rate of just two percent. A company in which his father makes the employees happy every day with face-to-face sessions.

Benjamin opts for a combination of control and healthy distrust. Trust takes time and it doesn't. In addition, he relies on micropolitics. He is at the forefront for information events. As usual, emphasizes values, motives and trust in order to move employees. But now his body language is different. Every look, every gesture reveals: They are just words! I would love to be fully behind it again, but the times won't allow it, and neither will you. In the background, he is already discussing the upcoming layoffs with the HR manager. If you don't trust him, you don't belong in this company. He feels the growing pressure and gives it up.


Mistrust and trust - employee appraisals

In my work as HR, I have always and without exception been able to determine that it is the employees who identify with the company who have confidence. If you feel good, stay. But their needs change with their living conditions. And this also changes the basis of the relationship of trust.

In most employee appraisal forms there is this one question - phrased differently, but always in a general sense: How does the employee identify with the company? For this purpose, the supervisor usually has four to eight fields in which he can tick his perception. Generally speaking: always, mostly, rarely, never.

If a cross is ticked here mostly, it often leads to discussions. The trust breaks, the breach of trust begins.

I claim that employee appraisals in particular have a major impact on trust and mistrust in the supervisor.

The stupidest question I ever read in an employee interview template was: How much do I trust my manager?

What do companies think of this? This question is crazy. Do companies really believe that employees answer this question openly and honestly? The opposite is the case: you will try to avoid any discussion and choose between mostly and always - mostly forever! - even if they disagree. Because the supervisor requires a justification for every other selection. Depending on the boss, this can sometimes lead to a conversation loop.

What does the smart employee do? He makes his cross at all times and has his peace and quiet.

Relax in between

Relaxation exercises between the training units not only bring more calm and balance to my participants in the training courses for HR managers and managers - and also provide important insights. You too can benefit from it.

Please end the following statements as quickly and spontaneously as possible. It helps if you read them out loud and continue uninterrupted. You don't have to write anything down.

For me, overtime is ...

For me, a wage increase is ...

For me, employee appraisals are ...

For me, Christmas parties are ...

Was it hard?

This type of exercise wants to appeal to your subconscious, because in our work life we ​​are very much influenced by thinking carefully about what we say to whom and how. So it's great that you got involved.

You have significantly more time for the next relaxation exercise, namely exactly two minutes. Here, too, I would ask you to finish a sentence. I invite you to do it in writing this time.

The beginning of the sentence reads: For me, trust is ...

Write down everything that comes to mind. Do not judge it. Repeat this exercise with the beginning of a second sentence: For me, distrust is ...

Results from the last trust workshop:

People always strive for a comparison. You made your list. Here is a list from my last trust workshop with executives from a large company.

For me, trust is ...



not always possible

a farce


For me, distrust is ...

often the case

unfortunately often reality,

no option,

the beginning of the end,


Mistrust and trust - think about it

I would like to introduce you to an exercise from my training as a trainer. It also challenges the subconscious and may lead you to interesting insights.

Write down the word "Trust" on a piece of paper. Now imagine yourself standing in front of an audience and speaking about the word trust within sixty seconds. Set the stopwatch on your phone and off you go. Talk about trust. The particular challenge of the exercise: Do not even mention the word trust during your presentation. Rewrite it. You have one minute for this!

Then do the same exercise with the word distrust. Here, too, the challenge is not to use the word suspicion and instead to paraphrase it appropriately.

This exercise can be increased by presenting the word to a clearly defined audience - that is, appropriate to the target group. How would you explain trust to prisoners, surgeons, politicians or your neighbor?

 At the end, reflect on your results

On which word did you speak more fluently?

With which word did you not obey the rules of the game?

And what is your conclusion from the exercise?

This exercise only has a magical effect the first time. There she shows - guided by the subconscious - your true world of thoughts on trust and mistrust. As early as the second and third pass, the conscious mind will want to have a say. And in consciousness, as experience shows, most people are firmly convinced that only trust really makes sense. (Healthy) distrust hardly stands a chance.


Expectations and the pursuit of perfection

“You didn't live up to my expectations at all. When you started here, I thought, a new age is dawning. But far from it. You haven't added a single new customer within four months. I am disappointed and my trust in you is gone! I can no longer work with you like this, ”the CEO said to his sales manager and presented the resignations to him.

Trust always has to do with expectations. This mental anticipation of behavior shapes our thinking. If you now say loudly that this is not the case, that you have no expectations of your boss, your employees or even of the company, then I am very happy for you! So far, I have not been able to get to know anyone like you in my work environment or among my students and customers. You can safely skip this chapter - you would just have to shake your head unnecessarily and find the fly in the ointment that fell off your head.

Mistrust also always has to do with the expectation (arising from experiences) that my counterpart will not behave as I wish or even demanded.


The psychological contract

Possibly these are your thoughts when you sign the employment contract: “A good employer. It offers good opportunities for advancement, flexible working hours and, above all, a secure, modern workplace. His wage offer is more than fair - and it will certainly continue that way. Here an employee is seen and appropriately rewarded. Here I can slowly but surely climb my career ladder! «

The head of the company who agreed to the contract might think like this: “This is a top employee. It brings new wind into the company. He seems to be more committed than the others and seems very motivated and healthy. I can clearly see his willingness to perform. He will certainly go the extra mile for me on a regular basis and bring our company significantly forward! "

Such companies and employees always tacitly conclude a psychological contract - purely mental. It is not written down anywhere. It exists only and exclusively in the minds of the contract signatories. The fatal thing: It may be different very soon. Because the experiences and experiences of every single working week influence and shape the way we think and act on both sides.

On the other hand: Without such thoughts, our working life would simply be inconceivable. It is you who give us a feeling of security and reliability. And subconsciously, we are all probably aware that trust can be broken.


The world of work is dangerous and unpredictable

What seems to be firmly anchored in people's minds today will no longer apply in three months at the latest. The product changed, the customer dropped out or the manager who hired you quit. You cannot take the promised annual vacation in the summer, but have to postpone it to months in which your partner will not have a day off. You see that colleagues' vacation requests are always accepted, even though they are less committed than you. You feel that you have been treated unfairly and are bitterly disappointed.

In return, the company finds that you are often late or that you finish work quite early, but above all that you have been sick several times on Fridays and Mondays. And suddenly there is a suspicion in the room: "It turns blue out of defiance!"


Disappointments turn into distrust

Is it really the case that only you cannot go on vacation in the summer - and the whole department is practically gone?

Is it really true that the employee is always sick on Fridays and Mondays? Is there actually a blue thing behind it?

There is mistrust. Mostly creeping, but always unstoppable.

No matter which side of the table you sit on: The world of work is not based on your expectations. Disappointments are inevitable.

Our expectations should calm us down, push away our uncertainty - a completely normal way of thinking that we all more or less cultivate. It initiates a process that begins slowly, often hesitantly and often ends in a fiasco. Unless the expectations are clearly stated.

Here is an example:

Employee Hans says to employee Uschi: "I expect you to tell me something immediately if the customer shows even the slightest sign of displeasure!"

Uschi nods diligently and repeats in her own words what she has understood. Why? Misinterpretations become clear by repeating what has been understood. This gives Hans the opportunity to correct or confirm.

In communication psychology, one speaks of coding and decoding or, in simplified terms: the translation of a sentence and the message it contains. With your decoding behavior, you decipher the sentence of your superior, extract the meaning of what is said and understand it. In order to fully understand what your counterpart is trying to say to you, I recommend that you also consider gestures, facial expressions, posture and the associated apparent emotions.

Back in the example, this means: Just decoding the verbally formulated expectations is not enough for Uschi to fulfill the task in such a way that Hans continues to trust.

The knowledge of such models and their implementation in everyday work enables more security and reliability and supports mutual trust. Man is like that - he is prone to interpretations in almost every situation. Or as the singer Juliane Werding once sang it: "When you think, you think, then you only think, you think ..."


Trust narrows - there is room for mistrust

Unspoken expectations in working life can lead to gross disappointment. In addition, this increases the tendency to live more mistrust out of every negative experience in the future instead of relying on trust.

Dear employees everywhere in companies and companies: High, unspoken expectations of superiors are counterproductive! Just as a manager should express their expectations of you, so too must you express your expectations. This is the only way to avoid not only disappointment, but above all the impending unhealthy distrust.

Expectations are part of working life like salt in soup. Maintain the right way of dealing with it: Make yourself aware of the expectations you have of yourself and / or your counterpart and express them clearly!


The pursuit of perfection

Is perfection a confidence booster? As a professional HR manager, I am always amazed at the amateurish-looking questions from people who invite other people to an application interview.

"What are your strengths and weaknesses?" Interviewers who ask this should have known for a long time that there will only be answer phrases that have been learned by heart. For example, because applicants have trained this with a career coach and can effectively count their strengths and weaknesses on their fingers.

I immediately become suspicious if someone says in a job interview:

»My strengths are: punctuality, the ability to work in a team and flexibility ...« The list is interrupted by an apparently thought-provoking »Um ...« and my first thought is always: Why is punctuality a strength? Isn't it normal to get to work on time?

"My weaknesses are ... um ... um ..." The applicant has been prepared intensively. Hesitation, reflection, aha moment: "Impatience and my great sense of perfectionism."

Ouch! These pseudo-weaknesses learned by heart are called so inflationary that as a HR manager one flinches as soon as the first syllable falls out of the mouth.

Nonetheless, employees who practice pronounced perfectionism enjoy more trust in their environment - at least that's my observation. However, this more trust does not mean that they are automatically very valued and popular. Apparently it is two different things.

I would also like to underline that with an example:

Annerose R. is head of the administration department. Her perfectionism has brought her to where she is today: at the top of the organization chart, the only female member of the management team. She stands her husband. Her perfectionism is feared by the employees, because she loves to edit every letter, every document with a red pencil. In the department head meetings, she dissects each of her male colleagues.

Unpopular, feared - and yet you trust her in almost every matter on a factual level. Most of all, the CEO trusts her. He has chosen her as his deputy. He knows he's helpless without her. A relationship of dependency par excellence - just because she is by his side, he can relax in many official matters.Without a Miss Perfectionist he is nothing. She knows everything, she can do everything and thinks of everything. It is the double bottom and the number six in the lottery for every CEO. She walks in his shadow, behaves submissively and is rewarded with freedoms that so many others do not have. With her exalted behavior she disgusts many employees. He holds his hand over her protectively.

I got to know perfectionism in the professional environment as a character trait that is strongly associated with professional success and ambition from the outside.

Perfectionists have high demands on themselves. They make their should a must. Nobody else demands this accuracy and dedication: it is them themselves. If you ask them, you often get the answer: "The boss wants it this way - so that's how I do it!" And the moment you pronounce this sentence , you know for yourself that it is not the boss, but you.

Perfectionists only trust themselves. It is a Herculean task for them to trust others. Basically, they are in love with mistrust and with the red pencil eye always on the pathological search for what someone else does not do as well as they do. And they find evidence of this every single working day. Perfectionists are often loners - teamwork demands too much from them.

People who constantly strive for perfection want to achieve at least one hundred percent, better one hundred and twenty percent. This not only leads to enormous stress for them, but also causes a loss of time and energy. Nevertheless: perfectionists give others security. So if you have a perfectionist on the team, you might be annoyed, but on the other hand, you can also give up some things carefree.

Even perfectionists can decide for themselves how they want to be and what is good for them. Only they themselves could change, but do they have any compelling reason to do so? And if your perfectionist wants to check everything himself again - let him do it. It probably won't harm you.

And for all bosses among you: Perfectionist bosses are often mistrusted as human beings by the employees - on the other hand they enjoy trust almost in abundance for their technical and professional competence.

Do you know the Pareto principle?

Eighty percent of success is possible with twenty percent of your own efforts - that is the central thesis of the Pareto principle. But in everyday work we experience that this formula is also reversible: with eighty percent commitment, only twenty percent of the results can be achieved.

The Pareto principle is thus an affront for all perfectionists, because it shows the inefficiency of the whole thing.

 reflection

When was the last time you were suspicious? Describe the situation!

What expectations did you have in the described situation that was not met?

What is the reason why the other person could not meet your expectations?

How much did you yourself play a part in this?

Which perfectionist do you distrust? Which perfectionist do you trust?

What is your personal conclusion and how do you want to react in the future? What impulse do you want to give yourself to act?

Decisions: Saying goodbye to security thinking

"Should I trust or mistrust here?" Was the question asked by a coaching client after he had received a tempting job offer. "Please give me some advice, Frau Roth!"

There! It happened again: advice was wanted. The aspirin tablet for every problem. Simply dissolve it in a glass of water, choke it down with a disgusted grin and shortly afterwards the problem is solved.

No! I don't give advice. Not in coaching and otherwise I deliberately hold back with it. Advice is a blow, and blows do nothing in the long run.

Therefore, please do not simply implement well-meaning advice from your partner, your best friend or the motivational trainer you hold dear. Listen to them carefully, yes, but then develop your own strategies. Implement what feels good and right. Take responsibility and accept the consequences if you made the wrong decision.

Wrinkle your brow, stamp your feet on the ground - there is no result on the matter. Please say goodbye to security thinking once and for all. Show the courage to take risks, because there is no such thing as one hundred percent security.

Every decision is a risk!

But because I know how difficult that can be, I have an impulse for you that can help you decide whether to trust or mistrust: Don't collect too much information. Be moderate. Too much "knowledge" can often damage decision-making! In my personal experience I have observed time and again that it is often better to listen to your own gut or intuition than to deliberate for a long time. There is no such thing as the only truly correct answer - and that is why a long period of reflection will not get you one step further. Be brave and risk making a wrong decision. One wrong decision is better than none at all. And much better than being pushed into a decision.

Believe me: waiting will not get you anywhere, a decision - even if it may be wrong - will.


Slaves of their own reason

Trust or distrust? Are we realistic: The recommendation: "Now just trust him!" Can irritate you just as much as: "I would mistrust him!"

Ultimately, no one can make the decision for you. You decide, especially since you will have to face the consequences.

We have never had so many decision-making options in working life as we do today. But this tremendous freedom does not make it any easier for us. The opposite is the case. And so they perceive more and more employees as ballast and even long for the decision to be made for them - in order to then criticize what is going on.

"Speak now or keep silent forever!" Was a standard saying of my grandmother Kathe. I cursed her for it more than once. Today I find myself "using" similar sentences in training sessions. Somehow there is a bit of truth in it.

Lamenting doesn't help!

And now, dear reader, hand on heart: Have you ever seen a decision become better and easier just by constantly lamenting about it?

I would like to shed a little more light on this with an example from the recruiting process. Because often a selection process has to be made between two equally qualified applicants. Basically, the decision-making power always lies with the superior. After all, he and the team will have to work closely with the new colleague in the future. If a HR manager in this company is not just a vicarious agent, but a respected sparring partner when making decisions about employment, his or her opinion will also be heard.

The supervisor wants to employ Mr. M. because he trusts him to do the job. The HR manager, however, tends towards Ms. Y. because he mistrusts Mr. M. for various reasons. A stalemate. What to do?

I am happy to recommend the decision matrix in comparable situations. I consider them to be the ultimate decision-making aid.

For the case described, it looks like this:


Property Grade Mr. M. Grade Ms. Y.

Flexibility 9 7

Sales talent 7 9

Self-employment 10 10

Strong communication skills 6 10

Total: 32 36

1 stands for "not at all met" and 10 for "exceeded"

Of course, these values ​​are also subjective, although the basics were submitted in advance with the requirement profile.

But the differentiation is clearer, especially with a view to an unspecific "gut feeling" that determined the selection before the decision matrix was used. In order to further objectify the decision, a multiplier could now be assigned to each property - according to its importance.

With this matrix, too, it is ultimately up to the superior to make the decision. From a purely objective point of view, Ms. Y. would now be preferred - according to the matrix, she has more points and thus offers the apparently better prerequisites to fill the position in the interests of the company. The supervisor would have to give her his trust, but something in his head is screaming: No, it's Mr. M.! Trust him!

So there it is again: the feeling that makes any factually justified discussion fade into the background.

Who do you think will get the job? Right, Mr. M.!

Expertise alone is not enough to make decisions for or against mistrust. My experience in the past: The feeling remains victorious, even if it is rarely admitted in working life. Feelings are a power that should not be underestimated and they have an enormous influence on the power of judgment - also when it comes to trust or mistrust. The gut had made the decision long before, the factual presentation could not change his mind. In addition, the gut feeling is a pure experience memory and, just like the mind, a rating system.


Kom (m) -fort zone

Trust, then you take a risk. Trust is perhaps the greatest risk you can take. You can be given rich gifts for it - or your trust is miserably abused. In extreme cases, so much so that they may never again be able to give someone a leap of faith. And before you know it, you have made yourself comfortable in your comfort zone of distrust. To come out again and to trust again, even though the distrust keeps spreading, is a very long and uncomfortable way.

I think that many people actually sit in such a comfort zone with their distrust. Cozy and warm, indulging in scraps of memory and not seriously ready to move even one step out of this zone. "I would like to, if only I could!" Are the usual statements, only used in defense.

The longer we stay in our comfort zone, the tighter the radius and the less it is possible to "come out" of the zone.

Let us therefore make ourselves aware that real life only takes place outside of (every) comfort zone. Everything else corresponds to an illusory world that does not allow us to collect life experiences. Mistrust may be a risk avoider, but ultimately it is above all a life killer.

Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to regain confidence, but it's worth it - because real growth is only possible outside of comfort zones. Show willingness to fall flat on your face and be ready to experience the positive surprises when you can give your counterpart a real leap of faith.

Of course, this does not save you from deceptions. Deceptions happen every day. You are being kidnapped, cheated on, lied to and every now and then you might too. But the following always applies: whether people deliberately or unconsciously deceive in order to gain trust ... In the end, it is the feeling that guides you to make the right decision for you at this moment.

Or like Dr. h.c. Michael Göll once said to me in speaker training: "Your head thinks - your stomach steers!"




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Category: General | Tags: "Trust mistrust. This is how the world of work ticks.", Book excerpt, Business Village, Diana Roth