alacrity in action

Photo by deprunk

If you know me, you know trust is one of those traits I value highly and find indispensable among people to create a real team. It is important for trust to exist between the members of the team or else they can’t effectively work together. It is even more important for it to exist between the team leader or manager and the others or else neither can really enjoy their jobs.

I hope there are no managers (at least conscious IT managers in agile environments) who would say they don’t or don’t want to trust their people. Yet to state that and to actually demonstrate trust in little day-to-day situations seems to be two different things. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised – it takes effort, commitment and courage to consistently demonstrate trust.

Picture this situation – a senior manager comes around for a casual chat and on the way to your desk noticed someone fidgeting with their mobile. It has just been established the mobile phone enthusiast is in your team yet while Blackberries are already a privilege of the high ranks, people on the shop floor are not expected to benefit from such luxuries. Furiously you are being asked to deal with the individual immediately and make sure this never happens again. You have two options:

  • “Yes. Of course. I’m sorry, I will make sure this never happens again. I’ll deal with it immediately.”
  • “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I’m sure the person in question is doing their job and using their mobile phone is appropriate in their current circumstances.”

Make you own choices – I know which one I would go for but it takes some courage and true trust.


  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Marcin Floryan ยป Mobile trust --

  2. It’s pretty easy to find evidence of the command and control mindset in managers isn’t it? I’ve had similar experiences with decrees that everyone wear ties, or wear ‘invisible’ headphones.

    I’m wondering if there’s more value in trying to draw out the underlying mindset behind the demand to make sure someone doesn’t spend time using their personal mobile.

    Telling the manager that you’re *sure* that the person is doing their job and using their mobile appropriately may not actually be accurate. It also sounds like a status challenge without information (which will definitely hamper trust creation).

    • Thanks for your comment. I did think there is still a question where trust is more important – up or down the hierarchy. My take is giving a firm example of trusting your team can help at the start but you are right, going behind the initial request and understanding the other side’s point of view and motivation must not be left out.

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