Quote: Emerson once said: “Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great”
Reflection: Emerson was talking about how to learn to trust, connect with others and build loyalty. His point of view is that trust doesn’t start with the other person, but begins by looking in the mirror and deciding what it takes for you to trust others. Do you give trust away automatically or do you make the person earn your trust? Do you expect great things from others or just wait for them to screw-up and then remove trust? Essentially, Emerson is talking about how to connect emotionally with others. He is expressing his belief that in order to build an effective relationship we must start with trusting others. Trust needs to be demonstrated through your behavior not just by mouthing the words to others. As I reflect on my own experiences in building an effective team I think trust is the cornerstone for creating a climate that accelerates cooperative working and building together the behaviors that support effective and efficient teamwork.
If your team individually and collectively is supportive of others and respectful you can build on this positive climate to create the potential for team synergy (1+1 =3. In building synergy you tap the energy and commitment for the team to reach way beyond what any one individual could accomplish by themselves. Effective and synergistic team members are shown to stretch way beyond what is expected by being engaged in both work and personal issues to achieve organization goals. Trust like this reduces defensiveness and unhealthy competition so that you team can produce spectacular and high levels of satisfaction for themselves and clients or peers they work with. This respectful approach of giving trust away reduces individual insecurities and opens the door for maximizing possibilities. Your expectations and ability to trust will great enormous energy and self-belief in others and after growing in this positive environment, they’ll not only believe and trust you, they will prove to themselves that they can accomplish more than they thought they could. I think Emerson is coining the idea of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (SFP) before Robert Merton, social psychologist, identified and labeled the power of this concept to influence and motivate people to be the best they can be no matter the stress or situation they find themselves in.