Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trust

There are many things most of us take for granted as individuals, educators and parents. One of the things that should be expected of least is trust. Not the trust we have in others, but the trust we expect others to have in us. I trust people to maintain a certain standard when undertaking their occupation. It doesn't matter if they work with others or alone.

If I hire a plumber I expect them to do their work to a particular level of quality. If there is a fire I expect the firefighters to do their best to extinguish the flames while ensuring the safety of anyone within the vicinity. If I am dealing with a salesperson I expect some salesmanship, but will not tolerate too much BS (if you'll pardon me).

I also expect that other will be able to trust me to fulfill my duties effectively. parents should trust me to ensure their child is well cared for, their educational and personal needs are met and that they are receiving the best care and education I can provide. Likewise, my colleagues should be able to trust me to do my job without fear of what might be happening if they turn their backs. That includes menial daily tasks being completed effectively and efficiently.

It therefore should not be too much to ask that I be able to trust parents and colleagues in return. For the most part this is the case. However, I have all too frequently in the past be disappointed in the attitudes of both parents and educators to children. Unfortunately it seems that some children are seen as an inconvenience to adults' daily lives.

Now I must reiterate that these are by far a minority of cases, but even one is too many in my book. The worst offenders are those who 'train' to care and educate young children then seem to be put out by their very presence. Unfortunately I have witnessed this too.



However, as hard as it may seem, these are not reasons why I write this post. This post was provoked by an incident involving a casual and until now I have not dared tell the tale. Well the time has come to get this off my chest.

A parents car was run into outside a centre and there were two witnesses who saw this person driving the car that did the damage, yet despite countless opportunities for them to come forward and even directly admit to what had happened they continued to deny any knowledge whatsoever.

The point here is that how can that parent, or any other for that matter, trust that service when a staff member willingly withholds information regarding such an incident? How can we as colleagues trust them? There will always be doubts about their honesty when it comes to giving their account of an issue or event.

Now as professionals, if we don't have the trust of our colleagues or the families we are meant to serve then how can we possibly do our job effectively. I know as a parent I would not be happy to know such a person might have responsibility over my child and as an employer I could not consciously continue to let such a person be in a position of such responsibility and power.

Trust. We need to earn it over time, but can erode it in an instant.

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