It can be easy to trust too quickly, especially when a leader is affable, has an impressive résumé, and tells you what you want to hear. In 30 years of surveying senior executives, social psychologist Roderick Kramer has found that 8 out of 10 report being burned at least once because they trusted too much or put their faith in the wrong person at some point in their careers.
It’s important for an organization to build trust among workers for several reasons, says Kramer. Employees who know they can trust their leaders are happy workers who believe in what they are doing. Creating this trust from within can also lead to public trust. “A lot of leaders talk about public trust, then they focus on the impression-management side of things,” says Kramer, “it’s much more important to establish genuine trust within your organization, which leads to trustworthy performance, which then builds over time into a public reputation of being trustworthy.”
A scholar explains some signs that a boss has your — and the organization’s — best interests at heart.