Trust and Ethics - Assignment 1-2
By: Derrick Williams
Professor: Tony Bonina
May 20, 2012
Building trust is critical in the establishment and success of any relationship. Without trust, partnerships are destined to experience turbulence. Even our most habitual daily activities necessitate some form of trust--be it presumed or earned. For example, one may assume a barber working in a well-established salon is trained, skilled and licensed to properly cut and style hair. However in a partnership, trust must be earned; and such trust requires time, commitment and dedication. Meticulously deliberate effort is necessary in building trust within partnerships. Likewise, re-establishing trust once it has been compromised or violated is all the more challenging and time-consuming. Ethical behavior also has a vital role in establishing professional credibility. Most savvy consumers wouldn’t even consider patronizing a hair salon known for unprofessional or unethical practices. In the same vein, the likelihood of forming a successful partnership with those who have damaged reputations or credibility issues is negligible.
The word trust has multiple meanings, invariably depending on its functionality. Webster’s Dictionary defines trust as, assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. In the business sector, trust carries parallel principles as its denotation. Buyers define trust using keywords such as, openness, dependability, candor, honesty, confidentiality, security, reliability, fairness and predictability (Larson, 2008, p.34). These keywords have a vital role in the success or failure of a partnership. Understanding and determining consumers’ individualized interpretations of trust is the responsibility of knowledgeable merchants. Some consumers may value predictability more than candor; while others focus more on reliability in comparison to fairness. Whatsoever consumers decide, once again, vendors bear the burden of discernment. This understanding can be achieved with questioning and relationship development. Developing and building a professional relationship is not always an easy task. Time and commitment are mandatory. However, there are certain variables a salesperson should recognize when trying to earn buyers’ trust, and in building successful professional relationships. These variables are expertise, dependability, candor, customer orientation, and compatibility (Larson, 2008, p.36). Expertise speaks to more than knowledge alone, but having the ability to produce favorable results with that knowledge. For instance, a personal fitness trainer may possess the basic knowledge to become certified, but he or she may lack the ability to apply that knowledge when assisting a client. Case in point: Can the client depend on the trainer to be punctual for each workout session? Is the personal fitness trainer willing to be veracious, or will he or she stretch the truth, promising unrealistic, untimely results? Most importantly, is the personal trainer compatible with his or her clients? Such are a few important questions sellers should ask themselves when attempting to build trust in business relationships. Nonetheless important, trust is not the sole ingredient required in building a strong and meaningful partnership. Ethical behavior is equally important. Ethics refers to right and wrong conduct of individuals and institutions of which they are a part. Personal ethics and formal codes of conduct provide a basis for deciding what is right or wrong in a given situation, traditionally based on society’s standards (Larson, 2008, p.45). The way ethical issues are handled, speaks to the credibility of an establishment or salesperson. If unethical behavior exists, credibility comes into question. Three of the more popular areas of unethical behavior are deceptive practices, illegal activities, and non-customer-oriented behavior (Larson, 2008, p.52). They...