Decisive action builds trust and supports morale. So, too, do the manager’s “appreciation and understanding” words of encouragement and the projected image of reliability, integrity, and competence. These expressions should be activated by well-intentioned motives that serve a common interest instead of being self-serving.

Trust, however, can be undermined by the sometimes explosive behavior of subordinates, which is due to the impulsive nature of people. They nervously shrink back and find danger in any effort in which they do not foresee the possibility of success. Personnel also tend not to act as passive obedient instruments, but as very anxious and restless individuals who wish to finish things quickly and know in advance where they are going.

The purpose of focusing on trust, therefore, is to overcome those negative feelings among individuals who, because of various life experiences, mistrust and doubt. Some have valid reasons due to having been misinformed and misled in the past. Nonetheless, it is your challenge to create trust and convince them that you have their best interest at heart.

A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it from his subordinates.

Sun Tzu

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