Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Determine Who to Trust at Work

Do you trust your co-workers?
Do you trust your boss?
Does anyone at work trust you?
These are questions we may not ask ourselves consciously, but they are key in determining success in our careers.
"I think what makes trust in the workplace a little bit different is that the stakes are usually higher day to day in terms of pushing for profit and everyone is trying to maximize their own gain in the workplace," says David DeSteno, a Northeastern University psychology professor. In other words, your colleagues are likely focused on themselves, not you or anybody else.
In deciding whether we should trust someone, many of us rely on a person's reputation, DeSteno says.
That's not a good idea.
"Reputations are not a good predictor" of what someone will do, he says. Research has shown that even the most honest people are willing to cheat if they feel they can get away with it.
Furthermore, when questioned, the people who cheat will claim they did act fairly, he says.
"Your mind is always making calculations between what is good for me in the here and now versus what it's going to do to me in the long term," DeSteno says.
Figuring out who is honest and when can be difficult in today's workplace. In DeSteno's new book, The Truth about Trust: How It Determines Access in Life, Love, Learning, and More, he discusses how to look at trust based on research.
Among his tips:
• Look for several cues. Don't rely on one nonverbal cue, such as shifty eyes, when determining someone's trustworthiness.
Instead, look for cues that express a more general representation of someone's internal motivations and thoughts.
• Don't blindly trust your gut. "Your intuitive (read more here)

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