In which situations is trust especially important; when is control better?
Trust is of central importance wherever growth, development and evolution are concerned, be it in people, organisations or economies. Controlling is appropriate when you want to know how quickly or successfully decisions are implemented. Controls can set signposts and guardrails. From this point of view, controlling is not a negative thing; rather, it reinforces trust.
How do managers foster trust within their teams?
There’s no cut-and-dried success formula here. It has a lot to do with personality and charisma. In a crisis situation, for example, an instructive top-down management style can create a sense of security and engender trust – because the team is glad, and relieved, that they can rely on the straightforward instructions and skills of their boss.
In daily business life, employees want to understand why they should or shouldn’t do something. That’s where an integrative management style comes into play; one in which supervisors involve employees in the decision-making process and are at their side as a coach. In this way, they tap the full potential of their people in support of the company’s success and the further development of its employees. That’s what I mean with an “unbossed company” – a company where there are coaches instead of commanders. Unfortunately, the term is often misinterpreted these days and equated with a lack of leadership.
What are the characteristics of a trustworthy company?
It has a resolute, convincing corporate mission that sends a message of reliability and predictability to its employees. It also offers those people the opportunity to develop professionally as well as personally. After all, a company has to look beyond the boardroom door in order to gain the trust of its employees. That’s the only way it can feel the pulse of the times and meet the needs of its stakeholders.
Stefan Räbsamen, thanks for your thoughts.