when trust must exclude control, Management

In life, there are two types of people in my opinion: those who trust and those who say “trust does not preclude control” [devise notamment de l’Inspection de la Banque de France, NDLR].

When people ask you how easy it is to trust if you are quick to respond that “trust does not preclude control”, it is a sign that it would be interesting to do a little introspection. (…)

What does “trust” mean?

“Trust exists between two interdependent actors when the established relationship gives each a sense of serenity associated with the hope that their interests will be preserved by the other in a given situation” (Katensky). To trust is above all to trust someone (by extension a group, a system, a tool). Trust plays out essentially in the interpersonal relationship. It is a conscious or unconscious calculation that we use as a means to reduce the uncertainty that lies in working relationships. “Mutually dependent” presupposes that you have problems, goals, interests that intersect and that cause the question of trust to arise or not.

The great paradox of trust is that it involves bothincreased risk and less uncertainty.

The increased risk is of being betrayed, disappointed, vulnerable. Reducing uncertainty is the fact that trust causes you to let go of the multiplication of guarantees and the search for control, which is often impossible in an uncertain environment.

How trust reduces the complexity of the environment by replacing the uncertainty of a situation with an inner assurance that the trustworthy person will look after your interests. (…)

It is for this reason that control and supervision behind your teammates sets limits in terms of trust: For you, it removes the liberating effect by shifting the need to have to confront yourself with dealing with this uncertainty and this complexity over time. -delegate. For the other, it is the unpleasant impression of receiving one mixed message (“I trust you, but I still make sure you do not disappoint me”). This makes trust “conditional trust”. Transpose the concept of trust in the area of ​​relationships: “Of course I trust you honey, on the other hand give me your phone, I will check your SMS from the last month. Trust does not preclude control. No, I can not let you say that it’s a lack of trust, you confuse everything … “I have never tried, but I imagine that it does not work and that trust can create a peaceful and enriching relationship. there can be no threat, condition, extortionnor the sword of Damocles over the head of him who receives your trust.

Finally, Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman identify three keys that condition our trust in someone. This is our view of:

– his benevolence: empathy, listening, support, sense of compromise;

– his integrity: reliable speech, coherence between actions and words, honesty, fairness, fair decisions;

His skills: know-how, technical and relational, mastery of his profession, relevance.

# 1. A management problem

When you tell your business partners that you want to control their work because trust does not preclude control, they hear, “Yes, of course, I have full confidence in you! But show it anyway to see if you are worthy. It corresponds to a trust full of conditions and prerequisites. Of course, there are times when it is necessary to guarantee the quality of what is produced. It’s even the role of the leader. The balance is thus subtle and depends on the challenge of the task and the autonomy of the person being led. The topic is therefore to adapt its management form to the situation and in principle prefer arrogance rather than overcontrol. If I refer to the study on the search for meaning, which I conducted in April 2020 *, the lack of self-confidence and autonomy comes second among the factors that destroy meaning in work. When we know costs of demotivation and withdrawal in French companies (98 billion euros according to the 2018 IBET survey conducted by Mozart Consulting and Gallup), it makes you think about the need to give your trust, even if it means taking it upon yourself and regulating your need for control.

# 2. A matter of cooperation

Trust is a prerequisite for cooperation. Collaboration is always a social exchange, especially made of trust and counter-gift. Giving his trust, receiving others, and giving our trust back to someone who has given you theirs are the three actions that structure the collaboration and that are not so easy to succeed and maintain over time.

# 3. A challenge for self-esteem

If I trust someone for something, I agree to open up to that person (about a need for help, a vulnerability). I agree to reveal myself and I feel that way more in line with myself (reduction of the fraudster syndrome or the impression of hiding things). This personal adjustment is a factor in increasing self-esteem.

* Results of Coaching & Consulting 2020 survey on The search for meaning at work

François-Xavier Duperret is the author of “8 Weeks to Boost Your Self-Esteem”, Editions Pearson.


François-Xavier Duperret is the founder of Cabinet Coaching & Consulting. He specializes in the areas of managerial assessment, individual and collective coaching, and support for transformations using agile methods. He is the author of “8 Weeks to Boost Your Self-Esteem”, published in November 2020 by Pearson Editions.

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