Trusted Relationships

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, “Prudence,” Essays

I was reminded of this quote when reading the recent Fast Company‘s Co.Design article, “Innovation’s No-Duh, No-Joke Secret Sauce: Friendship.”

… trust is essential for any successful relationship. So let’s start there: you have to be able to trust the people you are working with. Trust will lead to open and honest communication and, ultimately, to sharing….

I can remember a time when we worked in reclusive ways. A client would ask us for a design, and we would go away for a few weeks until a design review. More recently, we’ve realized that friends don’t interact that way. They share! They share ideas and they want feedback on what they’ve created… A good idea could come from anyone: a researcher, a designer, or the client’s marketing director. Among friends, credit is not important; it’s the quality of the idea that matters. Egos become irrelevant. The open, honest exchange of ideas that happens when you let your guard down creates better results for everyone, including a product’s end user.

The qualities that build trust (active listening, being open to new ideas, respecting everyone’s opinion) are characteristics that are necessary for the change team to foster. By encouraging the open, honest exchange of ideas while designing the transformational change for your corporation, you will engender goodwill among the operational owners you will need to actively implement the change at the ground level. The people impacted by the change may even come up with better ways to effect a change that lasts, faster and more efficiently. And you never know, you might also make some new friends along the way!

About Michelle Smeby

Michelle Smeby is CEO of wHolistic Change, Inc. with more than 10 years of experience implementing enterprise solutions at Fortune 100 companies. Michelle specializes in helping corporations deliver transformational change.
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