Human Relations

19 Practices That Build Trust

  1. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  2. Make decisions based on core values and principles rather than expediency or short term fixes which do not ensure.
  3. Treat all people with courtesy, sincerity and respect, regardless of their status.
  4. Care about people, their well-being and be empathetic regardless of context.
  5. Avoid using people as instruments or stepping-stones for self-advancement.
  6. Be prepared to be vulnerable, willing to admit your own limitations and mistakes.
  7. Be accountable and assume responsibility for your decisions and actions. Be more concerned about your own accountability than your “rights.”
  8. Admit to and apologise for your mistakes.
  9. Be courageous – confront and take corrective actions when there is a problem.
  10. Under-promise and over-deliver.
  11. Always follow through on your promises, no matter how insignificant.
  12. Always clarify and qualify your promises to make sure that you don’t set up unrealistic or erroneous expectations.
  13. Take great care to maintain and nurture working relationships.
  14. Exercise self-control, and remember that an unkind word spoken in anger can cause irreparable damage to a relationship.
  15. Whenever a misunderstanding occurs, clear it up as soon as possible.
  16. Give honest but constructive feedback.
  17. Trust people first until they prove themselves untrustworthy.
  18. Communicate openly and honestly, and explain your decisions.
  19. Earn people’s trust by building a reputation for being competent and trustworthy.

Source: Schuman, S 2006, “Creating a Culture of Collaboration”, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA

The willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party (Mayer et al., 1995).

Source: Roger C. Mayer, James H. Davis, F. David Schoorman, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), pp. 712

Human Relations

How to get out of a speeding ticket

This post is going to cover some things you can do to brighten your situation, improve your presentation and increase your chances of you getting out of an infringement notice courtesy of your booking officer.

NSW Police Car TechnologyTo be clear, these points are intended to improve your odds of getting off lightly. You’re going to need to employ your own tact, professionalism and sense of fairness.

Setting the Scene

Before we get started, you need to know:

  • The police / highway patrol officers have a job to do.
  • There are aspects of their job that they enjoy and some they do not.
  • Do you hate office politics? Well consider working for actual politicians. It doesn’t get much worse.
  • Their job requires them to enforce laws that they themselves don’t always agree with – but it’s their job regardless.
  • If you did not do your job, you’d be reprimanded or fired right?
  • Do you love everything about your job?
  • Was there anything you used to enjoy but now hate in your role?
  • These guys and girls in uniforms are human too. They’re just like you and I.
  • In our society, the movies teach us that the bad guys go to jail, we enjoy watching the rich fail and the famous “get what they deserve.”
  • You are being examined through these same eyes – your goal is to show the Officer that you are not the bad guy, you are not another big-shot that needs to learn their place and that you have earned their mercy and not their punishment.
  • Consider now that you are a human being that has this terrible job:
    • You are responsible for responding to heartbreaking tragedies.
    • First to motor vehicle accidents, seeing mangled bodies and the wrenching smell of perforated intestines.
    • You attend court hearing to give evidence only to be branded a liar by the defence attorney to better his client’s case.
    • You are given the job of telling mothers and fathers that their children are dead.
    • You’re the closest car to a domestic call out. You’ve been to this address many times before and were powerless to intervene. As you investigate, you realise the “wife-beating husband” was knifed by his wife after he threatened to hurt their daughter… you have to now arrest her.
    • Standing in the shower each morning, thinking over rumours of a colleague shooting herself with her own service weapon to end it all.
    • The wailing and screams ring in your ears at night when you’re trying to sleep.
    • Friends treat you differently and change topics when you join the group.
    • Some how being a part of society, yet above it leaves you feeling like an outsider.
    • People go out of their way to suck up to you.
    • All you want is some true and genuine human communication, someone who doesn’t want something, someone who can see you’re having a bad day.

Next time you get pulled over, consider that the Officer you were going to yell at, might be going through the above.

NSW Police iPad Minis


  • Never ever lose your composure, get upset, curse or swear. Do not antagonise, belittle, mock or discriminate. If you do any of these things – you are not making it easy for the Officer to do you a favour. Show them how you are an upstanding citizen of society. Speak politely, show the utmost respect and courtsey.
  • Greet them warmly and pleasantly when they approach your vehicle. “Good morning!” and include a huge smile. Think of something really funny if it helps.
  • Avoid keeping them waiting, have your window down, ignition off, any papers ready and drivers license handy. Do not get out of the vehicle unless instructed – it comes off as threatening.
  • If you’ve requested to do something (such as step out of the car) respond positively acknowledging the request “Yes of course, right away, Sir”.
  • Do not insult their intelligence by lying or attempting to mislead them. If they ask you “do you know why I pulled you over?” or “is there a reason you did an illegal u-turn back there?” – accept onto yourself all of the blame and responsibility. Be an adult, admit willingly and openly that you did the wrong thing. “No… there is no good reason Officer, it was extremely stupid and careless of me. Yes, you are right, I should have paid more attention.”
  • If you can see their rank on their badge, include it once or twice while speaking to them. “Now you put it like that Sergeant, I can see where you are coming from. You are right.” for example.
  • Allow them to speak until they have nothing left to say. Make eye contact. Nod to show you understand. Do not interrupt them while speaking. Do not argue. Do not ever argue. You must listen to them completely. Conceed to their point.
  • Assuming they are not-dodgy cops (note 97% of them are good people), it is extremely likely they have clear evidence of you doing what they allege you did. Police vehicles are fitted with cameras facing numerous directions, automatic plate scanners, automatic speed detection and other cool tech. Therefore before you go telling them they have the wrong person or their equipment is faulty, before you go questioning their integrity or professionalism, consider carefully if anything you spurt out is going to help motivate them to let you go.
  • If you’re dealing with an Police officer with ego – don’t let him or her take the pleasure of lecturing you. “You caught me fair and square. I suppose you’re going to throw the book at me? I may even lose my license. I feel like such a fool. But here we are, now I’m going to get what I deserve for being so impatient.” If you’re lucky, you are taking the wind out of their sails. The only remaining way for them to expand their ego is to show you mercy and let you go.

NSW Police Car Technology

Some final important points

  • An infringement notice can be withdrawn or re-issued at any time up until you and they go separate ways. Regardless of the outcome, maintain your composure, be consistent. If you break into disrespecting scolding and yelling at them – it only reinforces “they were right” to give you the fine.
  • Before you let them leave – stop them. “Oh Officer, one more thing…” Once again, regardless of the outcome, you owe them your honest appreciation for being an awesome fellow human-being and also for the extremely difficult job they choose to put themselves through every day. Tell them that!
  • “Oh Officer, one more thing… Before you leave I just wanted to express my honest appreciation for all the work you have done and will do in the future. I understand that it isn’t always easy and you are often in difficult positions where you have to make tough decisions. But you keep coming into work again the next day. I am not trying to change your mind… I only wanted to remind you that myself and others thank you from the bottom of our hearts and have our eternal gratitude. Thank you once again.”
Human Relations

12 Communication Killers People Use Regularly

It’s incredibly hard to find people that can effectively and brilliantly communicate these days. Communication as a whole is so essential to life as we know it.

I’m not claiming to be perfect, but I’d rate myself above average when it comes to “communication”. I’ve also received high praise from colleagues and friends. The role of a good communicator is an active one; you need to choose to take on the role. However when you do, you’ll be rewarded for it! People in general respect a person who can truly listen to a problem and it builds stronger personal and professional relationships.

Needless to say, communication is something I’ve taken an active interest in for a few years now. I’m sharing some of my experiencing and lessons I’ve learned along the way.

It is not unusual to see people injecting these communication killers into conversations regularly. Unless communication is supported and nurtured, it will break down leaving all parties unsatisfied.

Remember, we always communicate with a goal in mind. If your focus is to be a supportive communicator in the role of a manager, health professional or just a good friend – these are 12 points to facilitating effective communication that you should know.


  • Criticising – Mother to daughter: “Well that was a silly thing to do” – I do not know anyone who enjoys being put-down or receiving any type of negative feedback. It halts and locks down communication and you’ll likely see the receiving party withdraw.
  • Name calling – “Don’t be stupid…” – Is a form of loaded negative attack intended to invoke a behavioural/mindset change. Any derogatory remark however will immediately put the person into defence mode. Usually prevents further constructive dialogue.
  • Diagnosing – “You’re very negative / naughty / disorganised / annoying / chirpy today” – A one second assessment and diagnosis of a person’s behaviour, attitude or problem that shows a lack of consideration for the other person. People do not like to be told how they feel, particularly when it is already obvious. It is generally “a label” and sometimes a psychological attack to force a shift in mindset or inflict a behavioural change in the victim.
  • Evaluative Praising – “You’re such a good boy” – Is typically an attempt to manipulate or change a type of behaviour condescendingly. Placing yourself above another rarely helps.

Sending Solutions

  • Ordering – “Take out the trash” – A forceful type of communicate that people resent. It is rare for a constructive relationship to bloom from. Generally speaking, people don’t appreciate being told what to do. Being given orders can be demeaning.
  • Threatening – “If you’re late again I’m going to dock your pay” / “Get to bed now or there’s no television tomorrow” – An order with a threat of punishment. Full of negativity. Places both the sender and receiver in a difficult position of having to enforce / backdown and concede / resist. Creates more problems than it solves.
  • Moralising – “You know what the right thing would be” / “What would Jesus do?” / “You really should visit your grandparents.” – That feeling of being guilted into doing something. Yes, you know the one, moralising is demoralising and often arouses resentment.
  • Excessive Questions – “How was your day?”, “Fine”, “What’d you do?”, “Nothing”, “You must have done something?”, “No”… – Inappropriate questioning can actually dry up the conversation pool and make the conversation awkward. These types of responses are “nagging” and the other party often resigns themselves to not participating.
  • Advising – “Well I wouldn’t if I was you” / “I wouldn’t do that, I’d do this…” – Giving advice is essentially an insult to the intelligence of the other person. It says to the other person, you’re making a big deal out of nothing when the solution is easily apparent to me. A situation is rarely as simple as it initially appears. If you’re supportive and listen, you’ll learn more than you would have otherwise.

Avoiding Another’s Concern

  • Diverting – “Would you like to have a look at my holiday photos?”, “Sure, tha… Oh that reminds me, I have to call the travel agent to get our booking confirmation! Did I tell you? John and I are taking the kids to … and hopefully get some time together. John has been working a lot of overtime recently and…” – Um, we’re not talking about you right now… Diverting shows a lack of interest and respect for the other person or a lack of interest / comfort talking about the original topic.
  • Logical Argument – “Look, it couldn’t have been me who left the light on, I wasn’t here, so it couldn’t have been me.” – Logic is awesome, but not in times of stress or conflict. It’s reception can be quite frustrating. It has a byproduct of emotional distancing from the “issue” and you will lose the insight the person could have offered.
  • Reassuring – “Don’t worry, it’ll all be okay” – Usually seen as a nice thing in cultures right? But it sends a less than desirable message. If person A shares a problem and you reassure – it indicates you’re not really taking their problem seriously. You’re essentially arguing with them that their problem is not even a problem. It also gives the illusion of being helpful without actually being willing to help – a form of distancing. This can cause the person to withdraw and/or change the topic.

As you can see, a number of these points are extremely prevalent in daily conversations. I struggled with some of these for a long time but I’ve come to realise the damage they do.

To be clear, these are points to avoid in order to facilitate solid and effective communication with another party. You can ignore them, but if the goal is indeed to communicate and achieve a result, it’s best not to.

I hope these help someone out.