Project Management Institute

Trust and Integrity

Colin Bruce: Senior Manager, Operations, The World Bank, Washington, D. C., USA

Colin Bruce, Senior Manager, Operations, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA

The combination of trust and integrity is very powerful. To me, it is a pillar of being a respectable and respectful human being while managing resources based on what is in the best interest of the business. It gives your staff the confidence that you will also act in their best interest even under difficult circumstances.

Being trusted allows you to persuade people around you that you are not motivated by selfish needs and concerns. Integrity is the honesty factor. It is truthfulness in thought, word and deed.

For me, trust and integrity begins in your personal life—it's what you stand for. In the business world, at the end of the day, your clients need to work on the assumption that you are committed to their interests. You also have to be honest about what you don't know and what you cannot do and why.

Improving trust and integrity begins with self-reflection and examination. Ask, “Am I demonstrating as much of them as I would like to receive?”

Actions in the workplace must not be driven simply by production targets, delivery timetables, budget considerations and so on. They must also be framed by key values such as trust and integrity, which are action words. You develop trust through behavior, what you say and how well you deliver. Project management is an instrument to help you deliver, manage people and time in a way that fosters and demonstrates trust and integrity.

Cultivate, nurture and demonstrate your trustworthiness. Take time to understand your workplace, your workers and your clients. Begin to understand, person by person, what's most important. Think also about what in the work environment is impeding your progress. Is it communication and information flow, rewards, decision-making or assignments? All these things have a bearing on people's willingness to receive and invest trust and integrity. In a global business, you may have to promote and demonstrate trust and integrity in ways that accommodate local customs and norms.



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