29 Jan 2015

If you are not transparent with people, they will second guess you”.  Niall Heeran, owner of RentWellington wrote this in a Fishhead Magazine that I happened to pick up and read while having breakfast at my local café.  And after that statement, Niall may have said “and their second guess is most likely wrong”.

In the trade, we call this a Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE).  A grand term that I love tossing at people who second guess me incorrectly.  But it does build a good case for building trust in your workplace.

The FAE most often attributes to others, a negative view of what you would do in a similar situation.  In other words, you would act appropriately but what you hear or see from others you attribute as being inappropriate.  Take the situation of driving your car on a highway and the vehicle in front of you for no obvious reason, is driving 30kmh below the open road speed limit.  You have no chance of passing.  Maybe your hand (or that of your passenger) is hovering over the horn and your mind is actively assuming that it’s a ‘grey hair’ in that car.  You are building up a good head of steam.

It doesn’t occur to you that the driver may have just received devastating news and is driving while sobbing with grief – all you experience is how inconsiderate he is to be driving so slowly.  Now he probably should not have been on the road in that state but that’s another point.

In the workplace, the more you know about each other’s personalities, strengths and areas for development, the easier it will be for you to work effectively with each other and find an explanation for the behaviour and funny ways that your workmates may have.

At Red2Green we make this happen in the workplace.  Team building our way is building a team portrait comprised of the results of psychometric assessments of every team member.  The portrait explains behaviours, untapped potential in the team and many aspects of the team dynamic.  THEN we can go outdoors and do the tree hugging and trust exercises, informed about the way team members are likely to respond – informed by data.

So get to know each other, build trust and watch the productivity and rewards in your workplace increase.