The Amount Of Communication Is Inversely Proportional To The Level Of Trust
Without trust, there can be no effective communication.
In his remarkable book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers,” Ben Horowitz makes a very interesting comment that is too often ignored in the corporate world: In any human interaction, the required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of trust.
“If I trust you completely, then I require no explanation or communication of your actions whatsoever, because I know that whatever you are doing is in my best interests. On the other hand, if I don’t trust you at all, then no amount of talking, explaining, or reasoning will have any effect on me, because I do not trust that you are telling me the truth. In a company context, this is a critical point.”
This is why the level of trust enjoyed by a manager among their employees is so important: It determines the effectiveness of their communication. Ben Horowitz goes so far as to write that “as a company grows, communication becomes its biggest challenge.”
Trust is largely built on truth when it is easy and, even more, when it is difficult to be transparent. To gain the trust of others, one has first to trust their understanding (in every sense of the word).
Trust is a reciprocal act of faith.