On 18 October, HBA Boston held a presentation and panel discussion on "Trust: What makes it and what breaks it"
- Susan Morris - president, Morris Consulting Group (presenter and moderator)
- Rob Sarisky - chief business officer, FORMA Therapeutics (panelist)
- Payal Agrawal Divakaran - principal, .406 Ventures (panelist)
- Sneha Patel - senior director compensation, benefits, HR operations, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (panelist)
- Angela Bassa - director, EnerNOC (panelist)
Susan Morris began with an in-depth presentation about trust in a business setting. She borrowed from Stephen Covey and Rebecca R. Merrill in presenting a mathematical model to define it: Trust = Character + Competence. Character traits subdivide into categories of intent and integrity. Competence breaks down into capability and results.
Building trust requires building authentic relationships and communicating profusely, which is very time consuming. For Rob Sarisky, trust increases when someone projects an attitude of helpfulnes, and it diminishes when he perceives someone to be self-serving.
Trust can be broken quickly usually as the result of an "incident." After this, it’s very hard to restore. Susan's rule of thumb: It takes an average of six positive interactions to overcome one incident which breaks trust.
The top five behaviors that build trust include talking straight, demonstrating respect, creating transparency, righting wrongs and showing loyalty. On the other hand, leaders erode trust by not keeping commitments, micro-managing, demonstrating inconsistency, playing favorites and taking credit for other people's work. These behaviors lead to low morale, low productivity and disengaged employees.
Angela Bassa pointed out that “networking is a trust proxy." When hiring, managers often put trust in referrals from people they know. Attending HBA Boston events is a great way to build your network.