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Trusting Me; Trusting You.

  • What are your underlying principles?
  • Are your values congruent with your actions?


At work how often do you hear people say that they don’t trust someone because they “say one thing and do another”?  Such statements bring into question someone’s value base and their lack of consistency.  It is crucial that there is congruence between the individual and the organizational value base if productivity is to be maintained and increased.  Trust needs to develop between people, supported by the organizational process.


However, trusting ourselves comes before trust can be developed between people.  When we trust ourselves we are more likely to be viewed as trust-worthy because there will be congruity between what we say and what we do. 


Communication issues often develop when there is mistrust.  Mistrust encourages people to interpret, filter, evaluate and condense information within their own frame of reference.  Doing so is outside our awareness because this is just how things are for us.  Take for example the story of the goldfish in the goldfish bowl.  Two young goldfish are swimming around and an older goldfish passing them says “Hi guys, how’s the water?”  The young goldfish swim on and one says to the other “What’s water?”.  They are in the water all the time so don’t recognise it.  If our frame of reference is that someone is out to get us; the world is scary/aggressive; leaders are always untrustworthy etc. this is likely to just be how the world is to us and we don’t realise that there are options.  When there is a misunderstanding we are more likely to believe that someone’s actions are malicious.  This starting point will cause us stress and we are more likely to be aggressive and invite hostility in return.  In turn this reinforces our frame of reference, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Therefore when relating with others the development of an OK/OK/OK stance is important and makes life so much easier.  It doesn’t mean we have to like someone, or that all behaviour is okay but our starting point needs to be that everyone has the right to be treated with respect.  This will lead to congruent behaviour and encourage trust.


Organizationally, ethical behaviour relies on congruity between philosophy, values and behaviour, without which there will be little trust and empathy or understanding between the workforce.  Through adopting a human-based philosophy you will be able to consider the individual and team as well as the wider organizational needs.


The development of an ethical organizational culture is to move away from a “dog-eat-dog” mentality, and instead is a move toward a socially aware and responsible organization.  This in itself instils pride and hope within the workforce.  New employees coming into this environment are more likely to positively adopt the views and attitudes of the organization.


The approach we use here at Mountain Associates is Transactional Analysis.  We chose this for the very reason that it has a philosophical underpinning, namely:


We all have the ability to think

  • We make decisions about ourselves and others as we grow up.  Many of these decisions are not helpful to us as adults and can be changed.
  • We all have the right to be in the world and be treated well and should treat others well


These are the guiding principles that underpin all we do. 


Many of us have our own individual principle, values and philosophy but rarely reflect on them until they are bought into question.  However, using them to guide us enables us to develop congruity and instils trust in ourselves and, in turn, encourages trusting relationships with others.

  • What are you underpinning values? 
  • Do your actions reflect your values and philosophy?
  • Are your values and philosophy congruent with those of your organization?
  • If the answer to the above questions is negative then what options do you have?



Mountain Associates offer consultancy, coaching and training.  We travel nationally and internationally and also work through Skype.  If you would like to know more about what we do and where we stand, give us a call now and see if we are a good match for you and your organization.  In the meantime to learn more about our perspective download a free chapter of our book Working Together; Organizational Transactional Analysis and Business Performance, published by Gower and now out in paperback from them


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