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“The Caribbean Leadership Project is a dynamic, integrated renewable community of adaptive leaders transforming the regional public sector into one that instils trust and confidence.”
Thus states the CLP vision statement. This is tangible proof of the high premium which we place on trust. The reality is that trust is as fragile as it is important to the success of the public service. While it can take a long time to build up trust – either in an organization or in a person – it can be erased in a moment with one thoughtless act, a single misunderstanding, a careless word or deed…
So, what exactly is trust? Is it a single/uni-dimensional thing? Or is it more complex – i.e. are there degrees of trust as opposed to an open-ended, unqualified, all or nothing construct? Richard Fagerlin of Peak Solutions Inc. posits that trust is actually based on our perception of three elements, namely:
Fagerlin also describes a “trust hangover” as a malady which manifests as:
Are you part of a team or organization that is experiencing a “trust hangover”?
The Executive Director of Jamaica’s Management Institute for National Development and member of CLP’s Project Steering Committee, Dr. Ruby Brown recently completed an excellent piece of research on the issue of “professional hurt”. Dr. Brown describes instances of a lack of trust existing between the members of the political directorate and some civil servants, between citizens and the public service, amongst senior public servants, and between public sector leaders and the staff who report to them. In fact, the word “trust” or some derivative of it appears seventy (70) times in Dr. Brown’s paper.
Given the prevalence of problems related to a lack of trust as well as the importance of trust to the realization of our vision, CLP invited TRUST Ambassador Bob Whipple to deliver the feature presentation during our Third Leadership Symposium in Trinidad last week. Bob is known internationally for the use of his ‘trust barometer’. How do you think your ministry or department would rate on the trust barometer?
Well, the good news is that there are concrete steps that can be taken to regain trust which has been damaged or to create trust where it did not previously exist. We present here just a few of the takeaways from last week’s interactive workshop on Trust and Transparency.
What is your response to these takeaways?
What additional measures would you recommend to build trust between citizens and the public service? Between public servants and the political directorate? Between senior public servants and the staff who they manage?
 http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/employeerelations/articles/Pages/TrustFoundation.aspx [Accessed December 17, 2013]
 Brown, Ruby M; “Professional Hurt: The Untold Stories” Submitted to the Ph.D. in Leadership and Change Program of Antioch University
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