Posts Tagged ‘trust’

The apologizing liar

Monday, May 12th, 2014

David Horsager, author of The Trust Edge, makes a powerful case against the apology. Well, that’s not exactly right. He makes a case against apologies that are really just lies, which is most of them.

When someone drops the ball and says, “Sorry about that!”, it’s usually just something to say. Most of the time it doesn’t literally mean, “I regret that I did that, and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.” It’s just the thing people say to get past an awkward moment. For many people, it’s a kind of “Get Out of Jail Free” card. You don’t have to actually BE sorry—just say it.

If we accept that response in ourselves or in others, we normalize the lying apology. We get stuck in weak results, lose trust, and reduce our chance of a real breakthrough. Just as bad, we lose a chance to correct behavior that is inappropriate or unproductive.

So the next time someone apologizes to you, go one step further to ask if their apology includes a massive commitment to fix the problem and avoid a recurrence. And if you’re the one apologizing, snap out of the automatic response. Make sure your apology has substance and meaning, and a massive corrective action plan to back it up.


Monday, April 21st, 2014

Have you seen the Gallup survey about trust and engagement? It showed that the chances of an employee being engaged are 1 in 2 if they trust their bosses to keep their commitments, but only 1 in 12 if they don’t trust their bosses to do that.

What a HUGE difference that trust makes!

Then there’s the New York University study that showed higher customer service and sales results when employees themselves feel trusted—not by the customers, but by their managers and colleagues. In short, those who feel trusted to do their jobs do those jobs better.

This is why Stephen Covey calls trust “the new currency in the new global economy.”

But trust isn’t something you can insist on, and it’s not something you are entitled to just for showing up. Trust has to be earned and demonstrated. And if you want to rock at your job by earning trust, keeping your commitments should be Job One. There’s no better strategy to earn and deserve trust.

No one can keep 100 percent of the commitments they make. We are always at risk of being a little bit out of integrity. But do everything you can to be on the extreme upper end of that continuum.