The currency of trust; opening keynote Rachel Botsman #cipdACE


Trust is incredibly valuable to our organisations (tell us something we didn’t know) but what does this truly mean to build trust within our organisations.

Rachel started her session by having a few boos to some influential people, unsurprisingly, President Trump got the most boos (just in case you were interested!)

Trust is very contextual, it is all based upon individual perspectives and what we actually think, Rachel gave a great example of Amazon, when you order from them, you know you’ll get your delivery, but if you ask in the context of how they treat their employees or if they pay all of their taxes, then you may find you have a different answer.

I have written about trust on many occasions, it is a particular subject that fascinates me, and we all know how important it is to our organisations, if we are not trusted as HR professionals, we all know that that this can have a detrimental effect on how we perform, but how we work with our colleagues. Once trust is damaged, it can be incredibly difficult to repair that relationship. That is because trust is personal, it is a human feeling and because we are human, we are naturally forgiving, but it doesn’t mean that we forget!

Thinking of trust in our every day lives, our very foundations are built upon trust and it is a part of every part of our every day lives; we give our trust to our partners, our friends, banks, social media; now that’s got you thinking…

Another flaw that we have as humans is that we can too often mistake trust for convenience which can in fact be our enemy which creates a negative perception of trust as a whole. A great example of this is telephone scammers; I’ve recently been watching a chap called Kit Boga on Twitch TV (be careful it is addictive viewing!); he calls phone scammers who are pretending to be a genuine bank or Windows tech support, and he keeps them on the phone for as long as possible and he does this to prevent that time being used to scam someone else. People can be too trusting and believe what is being said to them; some of the calls are obviously scams but others are not so obvious and they are well versed in conning people out of their money. It demonstrates that we have to become vulnerable in order to trust but in these cases, this is an abuse of trust which can damage people’s perceptions; especially relationships between people and companies.

Trust can also be an opportunity, bringing people from the unknown to the familiar, going back to Amazon, it is now a trusted brand, but it has taken many years of building a reputation of reliability and convenience that has got it here. Over the next few years we will experience what Rachel referred to as “trust leaps” as we embrace new ways of working, such as procedural changes as our work evolves; you may be starting a new job and placing trust into a new employer; we may be seeing the introduction of self driving cars, we will be placing our trust and even our lives into technology!

Risk is a big part of how we trust; how do we move into the unknown? Trust is a confident relationship with the unknown, it enables us to feel comfortable with the unfamiliar. Being vulnerable is at the heart of trust and that is why it is incredibly damaging and hurtful when it breaks down. By being transparent and small actions, give people the tools to make good decisions and ask yourself, is this worthy of our trust?

A really thought provoking and inspirational start to CIPD ACE, I’m looking forward to bringing more to you as it happens!



3 thoughts on “The currency of trust; opening keynote Rachel Botsman #cipdACE

    1. So much value throughout this blog. I love how she provided real time examples as well as the nitty gritty breakdown of trust and how it is developed.


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