Culture of Trust Initiative: Actively Enhancing Trust at Fort Drum
October 11, 2011
FORT DRUM, NEW YORK--MEDDAC and DENTAC Soldiers, civilians and contractors recently learned about A.C.T.I.V.E, trust fundamentals and tenets of trust during the recent Culture of Trust training conducted Sept. 26-28, 2011. More than 650 personnel attended the training, which provided a common language and a framework to enhance and sustain trust and to begin an organizational change.
MEDDAC and DENTAC personnel learned that a key element of trust begins with self reflection of oneself. They discovered whether they were an "earned" or "given" on the sliding trust scale and what A.C.T.I.V.E represents. A.C.T.I.V.E represents the six trust behaviors: accountability, congruency, transparency, integrity, voice and engagement.
Maj. Scott Gregg , MEDDAC Chief of Musculoskeletal Division, shared his thoughts on the trust behavior accountability: "Provide your subordinates your vision, where they fit, have them actively involved, provide objectives and hold them accountable for their behaviors. "
Small group discussions and exercises were lively, engaging and thought-provoking. As one member of the supervisor group stated, he was going to go back to his work group and share with his staff whether he was earned or given.
Individuals who come from the earned perspective typically use an unexpressed set of personal criteria that determines how, when, and to whom they extend trust. Individuals who come from the given perspective typically use an unexpressed set of personal criteria that determines how, when, and to whom they withdraw trust. How many times have you or your supervisor expressed how trust is earned or lost?
"I found the "Trust Scale" piece of the training to be a significant benefit for supervisor-subordinate counseling. Having that tool to express how a staff member can gain or earn your trust and what could break that trust could be a huge win during initial and subsequent performance counseling." said CSM Timothy Sprunger, MEDDAC CSM.
When discussing how change is possible within an organization, Lucretia Robertson, Trust Enhancement & Sustainment Task Force Organizational Development Specialist stated "trust begins with you, it is up to you". If 30 percent of your team is dissatisfied does it make a difference in your outcomes, patient care, and service excellence? Trust and change are possible is one of the fundamentals of trust. Another fundamental attendees discussed was that mistakes are too valuable to waste. If a mistake is made, what can be learned from it, what can be shared with other organizations so they don't make the same mistake, how do we share information about it?
Prior to the training MEDDAC and DENTAC personnel were able to complete the Comprehensive Trust Assessment. The assessment measures organization trust levels in regards to the trust behaviors and tenets of trust. The results of the CTA were provided during the training.
One Soldier remarked that this was the first time after taking a survey that he got to see the results and what they meant. Two behaviors within the CTA results that scored the lowest were Voice and Transparency. Voice is speaking up for what's right and transparency is full disclosure or freely sharing information.
Col. Mark W. Thompson, MEDDAC Commander, remarked: "Our COT training team has left us with several recommendations to move forward. We will be sharing these with the staff. The command team is very interested in eliciting feedback from all members of our staff on how to move forward on these recommendations. I personally will be holding a series of sessions over the next three weeks to obtain feedback and suggestions on the strategic direction of our organization and how we can build trust within all of our activities and relationships."
The Command Team also received eight hours of training. CSM Sprunger stated that "the training has sparked several very spirited conversations amongst our staff on how this training will change the collective mindset of our organization and how they, our staff, can utilize their COT training to improve their sections internal and external interactions."
At the end of the eight-hour supervisor session, each attendee was asked what they were going to do differently tomorrow. One MEDDAC civilian supervisor stated "these classes made me re-evaluate my own belief systems; I initially thought this was a top-down driven initiative. Now I know it is an individual behavior bottom-up driven initiative."
Claudette Elliott PhD, Director of the Trust Enhancement & Sustainment Task Force, explained during a supervisor session that "the Culture of Trust initiative is different we (the Task Force) provide a framework and the organization designs a plan of action. Army Medicine is really a pilot site for the military. Army Medicine is taking on the challenge of raising trust levels and making an organizational culture change. The Culture of Trust is about change; to develop a standardized, consistent, and measurable high level of Trust throughout Army Medicine."
Danita St. Clair, Trust Enhancement & Sustainment Task Force Organizational Development Specialist, encouraged attendees to "share more, be willing to be vulnerable, create an environment where acceptance and openness is present. Set up partnerships, mutual agreements and open the doors of communication."
"The COT training has given us much to think about and I personally am looking forward to working with our team in building a Culture of Trust at the Fort Drum MEDDAC.", Col. Thompson stated.
For additional information about the Culture of Trust email: firstname.lastname@example.org