Learning and Trust LO13254

Edwin Brenegar III (brenegar@bulldog.unca.edu)
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 20:45:16 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO13227 --

On 14 Apr 1997, Rol Fessenden wrote:

> Edwin Brenegar asks

> My question is: what is the relationship between trust, trustworthiness
> and honesty? And how do we measure honesty?"
> Posner has said the two words 'honest' and 'trustworthy' are synonyms.
> They use them that way in their most recent book as well. That is how I
> intended them to be used as well. In the original notion of honesty there
> is a requirement of honorable. This means that the 'blunt honesty' which
> is sometimes used to bludgeon people is specifically not included.

> Rol Fessenden

Rol, I think there are two ways to go with this. First, honest would mean
uncorrupted, having integrity and shall we say purity. "It is what it is
because that's what it is." This is like saying, "He earned an honest
dollar today."

The second approach is more like your comment where the individual's
actions are honest, honorable or trustworthy.. In this sense, honest is
related to other conditions or qualities. Some times we mistake honesty
for being "never an unexpressed thought." But honesty has a deeper
character to it, as you point out, which implies trustworthiness or
dependabiliy. There is a fellow with whom I work who I know to be honest,
as in trustworthy, a man of integrity, yet he also has very strong, blunt
opinions. What makes him an honest man is not his opinions, but the fact
that I know he is trustworthy, utterly dependable.

If we are talking about this in regards to leadership, then I would say
people are looking for people to work with who are dependable, trustworthy
and therefore honest. And the question from a LO point of view is "What
are the factors in an organization which encourage people to be honest in
the sense in which you state, as trustworthy." Another way of putting it
is, what truly motivates people to be honest?
Fear...rewards...opportunity to learn, grow, develop? What?...


Ed Brenegar


Edwin Brenegar III <brenegar@bulldog.unca.edu>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>