ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - October 2000


Issue Highlight — In Praise of C-SPAN
- Peter Block explains how supporting and viewing more media like C-SPAN, free of interpretation and corporate meddling, could provide an answer to the commercialized, unintellectual broadcasting that captures most of our attention.

    Pageturners        Book Reviews with a Twist

 In This Issue...
Love 'Em and Lead 'Em
Getting The Moose On The Table
Is Zen Your Cup Of Tea?
A Mariner's Tale

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change
Heard on the Street

Return to NFC Index

Trust & Betrayal in the Workplace
by Dennis S. Reina & Michelle L. Reina

In today's fast paced and ever-changing workplace of innovation, organizational designs and systems, trust is more important than ever. However, as our local AQP Chapter discovered in our chapter meetings on the topic of trust, people feel a strong sense of betrayal in their workplace. Dennis and Michelle Reina attempt to explain the dynamics of trust and provide recipes for reformulating betrayal.

 The authors have worked with a variety of organizations, documenting many personal stories of betrayal. They begin the book with an excellent discussion of the capacity for trust. The development of this process is structured around four attributes:

1. Idealistic to pragmatic
2. Concrete to abstract
3. Simple to complex
4. Undifferentiated to differentiated

 Their explanations for all four attributes make sense, and they provide "exercises" which would increase one's capacity for trust. Perhaps I'm a bit untrusting, but I was doubtful whether an adult could significantly change his or her capacity for trust.

 I also like the authors' discussion of betrayal, which outlines how to understand betrayal and how to deal with it. They draw well on previous authors, clarifying the difference in not trusting ourselves vs. trusting others. Their seven steps for healing, albeit elaborate, are easy to understand and easy to use. I tried them in a personal situation and it helped immediately.

 The book's explanation of three types of trust, contractual, communication and competence are well illustrated and the tools for all three types are thorough and user-friendly. I'm not sure where a frequently cited factor by other authors called "benevolence toward others" fits into their model.

 The book appears to be very redundant in the last three application chapters-Rebuilding Trust in Teams, Rebuilding Trust in Organizations, and Transformative Trust (when trust in a team or organization reaches a critical point and increases exponentially).

 Favorite quote: "Trust in ourselves ... holds together our sense of who we are (our identity) and how we deal with others and our world."

 Favorite story: A team member discloses internal team business to non-team members, and destructive dynamics follow.

 Best feature of the book: Practical exercises and methods of improving trust in a wide variety of situations. I had fun reading this book!

"Trust & Betrayal in the Workplace." Dennis S. Reina & Michelle L. Reina. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., 1999, San Francisco. ISBN 1-57675-070-1, 173 pages.
Reviewed by Gary O. Turner, Turner Consulting, Blue Bell, Pa. 19422.

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