Building trust is key to collaboration. I did the exercise 19-5 on building trust and got the
rating of a stronger score. I take pride on being trust worthy and keeping my word. Turst
and open communication is even more important than having the skill level required for
the job as the learning can be acquired at any time. When I interview people, I try to find
out about their openness, ability to communicate, and how dependable they are. My
strengths revolve around having open communication, encouraging credible collaboration,
ensuring equity of access to all members, building trust and dependability among team
members, and standing by what I advocate for. If I do a mistake, I do not hesitate to
acknowledge the error, appologize for it, and learn from it. It is not easy to do. I have to
improve on letting go of my ego as the most knowledgeable person and be open to learning
from the people whom I lead. Another area that I have to work on is refusing to engage in a
process that I think is not fair or equitable. Often times, there are decisions made at the top
and we are asked to comply. This is especially difficult if the opportunity is not equitable
across the board. I will let my voice be heard even if we have to take it to our team and
request cooperation in achieving the task. The best way to do this being open about it, let
them know that it is not equitable and we are not convinced that it is the best alternative.
And then, we could request their cooperation to move on with the task as it is for the
common good. I often wonder, how do you justify something to your team if you are not
convinced that it is the best alternative.
Let us take the example of temporary work reduction by 20% during COVID. The option
is take a 20% pay cut or take vacation equal to 20% of the time during a certain period.
The bosses are taking a 5% pay cut. It was very difficult for me to justify this as the 5% to
20% was not equitable for many reasons. These were the people whose salaries were not
high and a 20% reduction will put them in considerable financial stress. Agreed that it is
better than lay off and for the sake of the common good, we are willing to take this pay cut.
Due the absence of these key people in the clinics and hospitals, the ability of the doctors to
see patients and generate revenue is also reduced. This led to even lower revenue
generation during COVID than before the pay cut initiative. The problems with these are
lack of transparency, lack of communication, breaking of trust, and low morale.
I read the book written by Stephen Covey on the seven successful habits of effective people
a few years back. He followed it up with a book on the speed of trust and how trust changes
everything. He considers trust like a bank balance. By doing good things like being
transparent, and standing up for what you advocate as deposits and interest earned on the
account. If we break the trust or if we do not stand by what we promised, it is a withdrawal
and our trust bank balance goes down (Covey & Merrill, 2006). It is very difficult to regain
the lost trust and it takes time. In public health, people look upon to us for information and
decisions. We have to be trust worthy and credible to do common good.
Covey, S.M.R., & Merrel, R.R. (2006). The Speed of Trust: One thing that changes
everything. Free Press. New York.
BUILDING TRUST 2
A health system should promote trust is, of course, the key to collaboration. Being
trustworthy and keeping your word as a leader brings collaboration between the leaders and the
employees. The example provided by my colleague is timely. COVID-19 is the new menace
affecting the whole world, that has paralyzed everything. Collaboration is needed to fight the
epidemic. Trust in the health system is vital in promoting cooperation to enable people to fight
the menace. Open communication and accountability are whatever is needed to put across the
guidelines on what do to prevent a whole large group of people from contracting the disease
(Vangen, & Huxham, 2003). Losing trust from the health officials is whatever is leading to many
deaths from COVID. Being transparent to why the bosses have a 5% pay cut and other
employees, 20% is enough to promote trust and collaboration in the health system. Thus,
building trust is key to collaboration.
BUILDING TRUST 3
Vangen, S., & Huxham, C. (2003). Nurturing collaborative relations: Building trust in inter-
organizational collaboration. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 39(1), 5-31.