Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in August, 2017

A misty rain persisted while I wandered, nearly alone, on the grounds surrounding Blarney Castle, in County Cork, Ireland. Not far away was a tower remnant where the famous Blarney Stone is kissed by 400,000 visitors a year. My husband opted for stone-kissing; I was drawn to the gardens surrounding it.

It was The Poison Garden near the ruined castle walls that peaked my curiosity. A welcome sign stated the garden’s purpose was to educate visitors about the positive and negative aspects of poisonous plants; those “found both in the wild and in our own gardens.”

That morning, I learned that just a handful of people die each year from eating a poisonous plant in its natural state, but millions die from products made from those plants. The sign explained: “The plants aren’t ‘bad.’ We make them harmful by the ways in which we use them.”

Now weeks later, that statement’s lingering truth has been on my mind as (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things 

How mindful are you when it comes to your personal impact on trust at work? Are you contributing to the derailment of trust without even knowing it? Find out. My latest PsychologyToday piece.

Social media and a 24/7 news-frenzy fuel distrust no matter one’s political leanings. From governmental leaks to behind closed door healthcare dismantling, we live in times of intrigue, spin, rumor, jockeying, and miscommunication; some deliberate, some not. And all of that being accelerated and highlighted via technology. No wonder trust in government nears historic lows.

While most of us don’t work in such politically charged, made-for-reality-TV workplaces, we do encounter similar missteps, even mini-dramas, impacting trust levels in our own work groups of peers, staff, coworkers, and leaders.

While it’s easy to point fingers or notice others’ trust-derailing behaviors, it is difficult to create personal awareness about our own. In reality, we all contribute to the trust or distrust levels where we work, often through unintentional, mindless behaviors that diminish trust.

There are numerous ways we can spark distrust at work; below are a few. Whether you’re someone’s leader or coworker, consider how many of these behaviors are true, more often than not, for you.

15 Mindless Ways to Sabotage and Derail Trust in Your Work Group:

1. Focus on your “win” without thinking how it’s achieved or its impact on others
2. Ignore standards, values, policies, approaches teammates are expected to follow
3. Operate with 20th-century thinking in a 21st-century world; stop learning at work
4. Treat your small work issues, needs, or problems as five-alarm fires
5. Practice “cordial hypocrisy” — i.e. “pretend trust when there is none.”
6. Be unresponsive to requests that aren’t of personal interest or importance to you
7. Share confidential information from or about others

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Interested in creating more trust at work? Checkout my book: Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture that Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation

Trust Inc, Uncategorized, Winning at Working