It´s an interesting question and the topic of this CLO (Chief Learning Officer) article.
Here´s a quote:
"Beyond staffing, you have to look at rewards. Some of this is not trainable, and you´re wasting everybody´s time, fooling yourself and creating more cynicism by creating a series of courses on trust. However, if you believe people are trustful, and they know how to do the right thing but things just aren´t working out, then the whole notion of how are we acting, how are we being rewarded for those actions is important. If you can change that, great. To the degree that you can´t, it´s a matter of how can you coach someone on the inside. You point out the behaviors that create trust and maybe the natural way that leaders act that unintentionally signal mistrust. Things like being authentic, sharing your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions to things, sharing what information you can, doing a little bit more with all of those things, is trainable and I think it does make a difference on trust."??
I agree that we should not create a huge set of classes on the topic of trust. I don´t quite agree that it is not trainable. I think it MIGHT be trainable for SOME people. I also DON’T think throwing rewards into the mix makes any sense. Trust is a BASIC requirement – a fundamental expectation.
Let´s me explain the trainable/not trainable thing:
I have worked with a lot of folks, including managers/leaders, who has been just too naive/immature to understand what trust and trustworthiness means in business. Some of them have been around a while, but never worked for a positive role model and did not experience trust as a basic expectation. Sounds incredible, but it is really quite common. For these folks, training and coaching can make a huge difference, particularly if they are motived to do well and be respected.
Then there are the other folks. The ones who know better and are just slime-balls. No amount of training will help these folks. And I certainly would not want to offer them a reward program because they will get the payout by practicing false trust (some are that good at being bad).
The formula for building trust in an organization is:
1. Select high integrity talent
2. Train/coach those that are willing and motivated
3. Quickly part ways will people who are not trustworthy
4. Build an environment where people are engaged in doing great work
Sometimes trainers try to solve too many problems, when it is more efficient to have high expectations and pick the right people in the first place. It´s not their fault, they have been asked to do this by their companies. I bet many have said, "why don´t we just hire better people?"?? and then suffered a long glare from the boss (who likely picked the bozos in the first place).
Do you think trust can be trained? How do you know if someone is trustworthy? Do you know if your manager and peers find you to be trustworthy?