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Building Trust In Business, Politics, Relationships And Life

Building Trust in Business, Politics, Relationships and Life by Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores takes an important, fresh and challenging look at the subject. Both authors have a long history of working as corporate consultants and gracefully talk about this slippery topic with insight and clarity.

The authors pull the elusive and idealized notion of trust out of the realm of individual psychology and ethics and put it right in the path of everyday life. Flores and Solomon address trust on a practical level as a set of emotional skills – all of which involve the responsible making of decisions and choices by all parties in any relationship – friends, couples, coworkers, organizations and employees, citizens and governments. They suggest that we can have a much richer and more functional experience of trust by taking responsibility for how we create and destroy it.

While bringing trust down to earth, the authors challenge the reader to expand his or static or limited concept of trust to include many forms, activities, and contexts and to see trust as a phenomenon that can include distrust and betrayal. Flores and Solomon suggest that trust is a mutable dynamic that increases and decreases depending upon our attention to our commitments and disappointments.

The authors drive home the message that paying attention to trust is an essential need, not just a nice idea. Of businesses, they say executives ignore the importance of building authentic trust “at their peril. Without trust, the corporate community is reduced to a group of resentful wage slaves and defensive, if not ambitious, managers.”

(Oxford University Press, 2001; hardcover: 224 pages; list price: $25)

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