15 Oct In election season, it’s time to think about trust
It’s not long now until Queenslanders head to the polls on October 31.
While most voters have likely made up their minds by now, the undecided will be considering several factors to decide their preferences.
We may like to think we vote with our head, but we really tend to vote with our heart. It’s less about comparing each policy from every party and more about who we think can do the best job for our state.
One of those intangible factors is trust. It’s a recurring theme in politics, not least because there’s far less of it from voters these days.
It’s hard to blame the public for becoming disenchanted with the political process. Broken promises, backstabbing and backflips are all standard practice in 21st century politicking.
In essence, our elected representatives embody everything we’re told is wrong in a modern workplace. While we roll our eyes at the ludicrous nature of what goes on in Parliament and on the campaign trail, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it to earn trust in our own workplace.
Trust is not something won overnight. Rather, it’s the product of long-term efforts to make promises and stick to them.
It’s the latter part that people tend to struggle with.
Nevertheless, being trustworthy is not something that is particularly difficult. By following through on your word, completing tasks as requested and sticking up for your co-workers, you’ll be sure to have the faith of your peers at all levels.
Despite this, it’s remarkable how hard it is to find people you truly can put faith in. Whether it’s self-interest, laziness or vindictiveness, many people make no effort to earn the belief and respect of their co-workers.
Think about how angry you get every time a politician you voted for goes back on their word. Whether it’s a new tax or unplanned industry cuts, we tend to get pretty mad when someone we placed considerable faith in breaches that trust.
We don’t accept it from our MPs, so why should we accept it from co-workers?
More to the point, we can’t ever guarantee how others will act.
That’s why we need to make promises to ourselves as well as others that we will do what we say, always and without fault.
We may not get voted out of our jobs for breaking our promises, but earning and maintaining trust is fundamental to running an effective workplace.
If we can be honest about our promises with our co-workers, that will be obvious to clients as well. If they can’t trust you, no one can.