David Harding: Turning the tide of distrust and noncommittal employees

You’ve probably learned the hard way not to communicate anything emotional in email because the medium tends to be tone deaf. No doubt you’ve also learned to overlook misspellings and shortened words in texts and tweets.

We’re certainly connecting more ways and more often. But are we connecting any better?

It’s hard to say. The challenge of effective communication is to trim the time between the exchange and the realization that the communication got through or wasn’t understood. In business, the sooner we know we’re not connecting, the sooner we can fix it.

Actual conversations are still the best way to communicate. Phone calls lead to less miscommunication than email. Why? Conversations — whether in person, by phone or via Skype — have built-in error detection and correction. You can hear the pause. You can see the puzzled look. You can explain. Communication is therefore successful.

Be sure you and your organization empower staff to ask when they aren’t clear on any communication — from any source.

Consider trustworthiness

According to a compilation of work trend studies, more than 77 percent of all employees do not trust their managers. Some 63 percent do not believe in what leaders say, and 83 percent believe that managers work just for their own benefits. Less than 40 percent of the workforce reports being “truly committed” to their boss or company.

If we don’t trust our bosses, aren’t committed to our workplaces and don’t value our community leaders, what hope do we have for the future of our economy?

One of the real catalysts for creating shared value within your company is to create an environment of trust and credibility to allow people to unleash their true potential. And because leadership is about people, passion, drive and communication, author Andreas Dudas suggests four major leadership objectives to begin to turn the tide of distrust and noncommittal employees:

■  Earn trust through credibility.

■  Ignite fire inside people.

■  Empower people.

■  Create a sense of purpose for employees.

Be consistent

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld famously says, “The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes. And the way to create better jokes is to write every day, which I do. Consistency is the secret to my success.”

The same can be said for top performers in any field. They are more consistent than their peers. Even after a particularly off week or a bad quarter, the most successful performers — that is, leaders — hit the ground running the next day.

They appreciate that leadership isn’t just being top dog. It’s not a position. Leadership is a practice — the practice of pushing the envelope, working all the angles, developing yourself and your team, striving for excellence — day after day, no matter what.

Your work ethic is the key to your success, no matter your field. It is appreciated, respected and it pays off. ●


David Harding is president and CEO of HardingPoorman Group, a graphic communications firm in Indianapolis consisting of several integrated companies all under one roof. The company has been voted one of the “Best Places to Work” in Indiana by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Harding can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, visit www.hardingpoorman.com.

Connect with David Harding on LinkedIn http://linkd.in/HCZpz3. 

To learn more about the HardingPoorman Group, like its Facebook page www.facebook.com/hardingpoorman and follow on Twitter @hardingpoorman.