On 13th September I attended the IoIC Annual Networking Event in London. The evening consisted of eight guest speakers from various positions in the industry – from NHS Digital to Lloyds Banking group, and KPMG to ProFind – expressing their views on what trust means to them and about taking risks in a working environment. Throughout the evening there were many networking opportunities – the other guests and I were excited to be here, accompanied by a complimentary glass of prosecco and nibbles from the buffet.
Trust the statistics.
Before the talks begun, we were given a small introduction. It was brought to our attention that there is a 43% fall of trust in businesses. Additionally, only 36% of the population trust the UK Government and there has been a considerable fall in the consumption of media.
Immediately it was clear that the topic of trust is overlooked too often and is something that needs to be addressed more consistently within businesses.
After giving a strong opening for his speech, Jim Connor began talking to the group more about this issue. What does trust mean to us? Why don’t we trust more people? Think about how many influencers there are in the business and then think about how many of them are trustworthy people. It’s not often that peers are trusted in an instant, but the formation of tight-knit relationships in the workplace is something that more people should focus on. What happens if you don’t trust a client? What happens if your client doesn’t trust you?
In addition, Jim pointed out that consumer trust in social media is declining. Globally, only 41% of people claim they trust social media platforms. Some of them have recently proven to do a poor job when dealing with fake accounts, trolls and fake news.
The trust we share within personal relationships is different to the trust that we give to organisations, employers and fellow employees. If we conflate the way we react to each other familiarly with the way we react to each other as individuals in corporations, we end up in a terrible muddle. People need to be given specific opportunities to reach out, to feel more comfortable with taking risks and to gain confidence with peer-to-peer communication. By doing this, a trustworthy relationship will begin to form.
So, how can I apply what I’ve learned? How do we determine what the truth is? What action would we take to defend the truth?
As human beings, we want to feel like part of a crowd and tend to follow what others do. Yet, as natural communicators, we have to make judgements about the truth – we work in complex environments and work alongside people who share different points of views. This creates an open door for us to begin making our own choices or taking more risks, and for others to realise that this is what this industry is about.