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The HR Tribe of Trust

I have the biggest crush in the world on Arianna Huffington. She is the real down right deal. Smart as smart can be. One of the fist public figures to recognize the power of social media. Mogul. And she’s Greek. Love her. And apparently I’m not the only one. 14,000 HR professionals are at the SHRM Annual Convention and Exposition this year. I’d say most of them were at the general session this morning.

It’s rare, but when a keynote actually tailors their speech to the audience, it’s pretty special. Arianna did that. And of all the things she said, one really resonated with me: of all the things we might do to add value to the organization and its people, building Trust might just be the most important. Leadership thrives on trust, engagement thrives on trust, happiness thrives on trust. We get this…I think. But do we devote ourselves to this? Are we methodical about it. Are we active in building a “Tribe of Trust” with foundational belief in one another?

So here’s the deal. We aren’t. And do you know why? As Arianna points out, we don’t trust ourselves. We have that “obnoxious roommate” in our heads that second guesses and undermines our good intentions. And I think that roommate is even more obnoxious in this profession. We are the kings and queens of low esteem.  And with low esteem comes faulty trust. If we are going to be agents of success to our organizations, we must learn to trust ourselves. Trust that we:

  • know what we’re doing
  • are just as important as anyone else in the company
  • our ideas are sometimes better than others
  • do have something to add to the conversation
  • can be creative and innovative
  • make a positive difference…every day

I like the vision of the workplace as a tribe. I love the vision of the workplace as a tribe of trust. Get on it, HR.

Image Credit: m-c

  • Tim Gardner

    Thanks for your reports from the desert. Much appreciated.
    We have a set of values and behaviors each manager is evaluated on – Build Trust is one of them. Specific actions are expected, including encouraging diverse perspective and debate. Leaders are expected to actively listen and convey respect, and our feedback process measures these specific actions.
    I appreciate and agree with your challenge – this is something you can’t “will” into the workplace – it requires specfic action, including taking out leaders who are not able to build trust.

  • Joan Ginsberg

    I really like the way you took something specific that a keynote said and turned it into a specific take-away and plan of action for your beloved Trench HR. Keep it up, bro.

    ps – I like Arianna, too. Saw her at SHRM Leg/Legal and was floored.