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Techies and users are in a vicious circle of mistrust

Paul Glen | May 6, 2014
Business people don't trust us, and we don't trust them. It sounds kind of hopeless, but it doesn't have to be.

But that is likely to lead to a problem you might not recognize. Your new stakeholders don't know the history and just think you are naturally mistrustful, defensive or overly rigid and legalistic. And they feel mistrusted.

Share your feelings and concerns. Instead of making rules based on assumptions, you'd be better off telling new stakeholders that you feel concerned because of past experiences. Ask them to help alleviate your reasonable apprehensions. When you share your feelings, you demonstrate trust rather than mistrust. And in turn, they may expose their fears and concerns based on past experiences and give you a chance to help them.

What's the worst that could happen? If they don't want to participate in that discussion, then you have good reasons to not trust them and you're right back where you started. So you've got everything to gain and rather little to lose.


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