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Article: Nonsense at Work: Trust at Work Related Resources

Nonsense at Work: Trust at Work
by James Henry McIntosh

Before you hire your next employee, be clear on what you can and cannot train. Certain desirable attributes just cannot be trained. They must be part of the employee from day one. Trust is one of those attributes.

The ability to trust is critical in any organization, even in a criminal gang. Here's why.

When you don't trust your colleagues, whether boss, co-worker or subordinate, where do you spend your time and energy? That's right. You spend time and energy worrying about what they're doing, saying or thinking. You constantly read between the lines, look for hidden agendas and plan for negative outcomes.

When you don't see the need for mutual trust and when you don't see your internal struggles as odd behavior, then you have become what Carl Jung called the enemy within. And you will remain the enemy within as long as you spend your time and energy away from doing your job keeping the customers satisfied.

But what does trust in the workplace mean?

When two or more people get together to perform a task then they become dependent on one another. Without one another, the task cannot not be completed. There is a catch, though. This interdependency means that everyone must be relied on to do as they are told to do and to continue to behave as expected.

Trust in the workplace thus involves dependency, reliability and consistency. Trust means that you have the confidence that you can rely on others because you believe that they will continue to do as promised and as expected.

A common mistake is to expect too much trust at work. Trust others to get their work done, not with your life. You will create unexpected nonsense if you demand trust beyond what is needed to achieve team goals and the organization's purpose. You can trust me on that.

James Henry McIntosh is a Chief Nonsense Officer. He advises executives on dealing with nonsense at work in the hope that this will make them, their teams and their organizations more effective. When this gets the better of him, he retreats to writing and public speaking until his confidence returns. He has been repeating this cycle for more than 20 years without seriously hurting anyone. Sign up for free newsletter on James Henry McIntosh may be contacted at or


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