Sunday, 22 June 2014

Increasing Use of Trust As A Communications Medium

When Narendra Modi was actively campaigning for BJP, he constantly used the word  ‘Trust’  to strike a popular chord in the people’s psyche. He exhorted the voters to trust him, and give him a chance. A strong call for trust, from the voters, appeared to evoke heart-filled sentiments in the people. Similarly, Arvind Kejriwal, AAP leader at one point of time repeatedly asked the middle class and youth  to have trust in AAP’s ability to provide a clean government devoid of corruption. I think politicians are increasingly using the word ‘trust’ to win public sympathy. In most of the cases, their often use of the word ‘trust’ is an emotional ploy in their pursuit of power.

The corporates and business houses  too now feel that they have to carve their clean image by using  the word ‘trust’ in their communication strategies. The speeches of their business heads are laced with the word ‘trust’. When you see the advertisements today, you will feel that copy-writers increasingly use the word ‘trust ’so that people buy the products. Today, the consumer is not a fool. I don’t think that catchy advertising slogans with dominant use of word ‘trust’ will change a consumer’s perception.

At the level of society, we see  the more use of word ‘trust’ in verbal communication. In family, the husband and wife constantly ask each other to trust, so that their relationship becomes strong. A desperate communication medium of trust is used to remove marital discord. The parent-child relationship is witnessing a big upheaval. Values are changing, and parents who are more attached to old legacy, find difficult to adjust to the changing times. In this scenario, the parents and children more often use the word ‘trust in their verbal communication, when things go awry. Both parents and children try to convince each other that they have deep trust amongst them.
The organizations, or sectors, today when there is trust-deficit all around, portray themselves as trust-worthy to build up their image. Their communication strategies are geared towards this, and often this becomes a PR exercise. The corporates, in the grab of Corporate Social Responsibility, are using CSR as medium to show their deep trust in the community welfare. The NGOs, cooperatives and  civil-society organizations, which are people-based, naturally use trust as a communication medium to win popular support.

Increasing use of ‘trust’ as a  medium of communication  in all walks of life clearly indicates that we realize the importance of trust. We have  strong conviction   that without trust, systems will collapse, and social norms wither away. But, how to assess the genuineness of trust claims from all quarters? I think trust-based surveys are very important to assess the impact of ‘trust’ as a communications tool. These surveys should touch all the areas of polity, society and economy. Trust-based surveys with defined parameters in organizations/sectors will also show interesting results. Definite and clear-cut strategies would then emerge which would help in solving the problem of distrust everywhere.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Evaluate Trustworthiness of Candidates Before Recruiting

Do you want the most trusted candidates in your company? Do you want people who can be trusted in your organisation for a longer period? Do you want people who have strong ethical values in your company? I think when trust-deficit is increasing in organizations, it is a big challenge for companies and organizations to find trust-worthy people. The success of modern organizations is built upon people whom you can trust to deliver the goods.

While recruiting people, we need to give due focus on gauging the trustworthiness of candidates. The qualifications, experience and professional background are no doubt important. But, they are geared towards efficiency, and effectiveness, which do not work beyond a point. In the times of crisis, trustworthy people will give you hope. You will feel that there are committed folks around you, who will not let you down. Trustworthy people, may not be that efficient, as compared to those who are professionally more capable, but are driven by mere passion for money. However, these  group of people will evoke more confidence, then those who will not miss any opportunity to leave the company for greener pastures.

Trustworthy people in organizations are driven by mission in their life. not merely short-time profit-making objective. The missionary zeal of such people can take organisations to new heights. So, it will be a big challenge for you to find such people.
I think we need to develop a scientific approach to find people who can be trusted while recruiting them. A trust-based test  based on effective questionnaire should be devised, which can test the trustworthiness of candidates. Modern statistical  tools must be used to formulate such test. The measurement of this must be done through a software, which can give measurable outputs. Then, only we can evaluate  trustworthiness of the candidates. I think trust-based test, will definitely be useful in gauging the aptitude, and behaviour of the candidates when they start working.

Organisational dynamics today is built upon trust, which is so difficult to find in the volatile times today. The stark reality is that we need to think, and act differently. So, when next time you are hiring people, try your best to gauge the trustworthiness of the candidates.