Trust Triangle

Trust Triangle

By Richard H. Axelrod, Terms of Engagement (2000), p. 168

If your organization is lacking trust then leadership, group initiative and creativity suffer. Provide an environment to develop trust through straight talk, listening and making commitments.

Some people ask “What is Strait Talk?” Strait talk is a balance of respect and honesty.  What that?  A colleague described it best while we were discussing our Northeast communication styles.   One of the ground rules she uses is be “respectfully honest.”  She said “On the East coast we have a tendency to sacrifice respect for honesty.  In the West we sacrifice honesty for respect.”  When I give feedback I often name the elephant in the room, the topic no one is talking up but needs to. That is my job.  This doesn’t mean I cannot do it in a respectful way.

For instance,  recently I was giving feedback to a speaker. I listed many of the areas they shined and also areas of improvement to make the speech better.  I could have been brutally honest or blew sunshine all over them. The middle ground is often the best option.

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