As soon as we say it, we know immediately that this statement will never work. So what does work? There is some good research about trust and risk communication but many people working in government don’t know about it. They end up relying on a mix of common sense and intuition rather than principles based on solid evidence – which can backfire badly because misunderstanding how trust works leads to some terrible traps.
This presentation distils what I have learned about trust from reading some of the research and through lots of experience working on topics like genetically modified food and immunisation. There are some important lessons about trust and I want to share some simple tips. The most important lesson is to accept that trust has both emotional and rational components, that responding to both is essential, and that the emotional component dominates the rational. The second lesson is that you cannot ask for trust, you have to earn it and someone else has to give it – hence the title of this presentation. The third lesson is that you have to trust the public – trust goes both ways.
Earning trust requires five behaviours: honesty, doing the right things, doing them well, treating people fairly, and keeping promises. Good communication is essential but not sufficient by itself. And building trust requires understanding and trusting the public, including letting stakeholders set the agenda and share decisions.
What will participants gain from attending your presentation?
Some tips and traps about building trust and good risk communication.
David Wansbrough, Bureaucrat, Government
When: Tuesday 18th February, 11:15am-12:15pm
Where: Room G01, Learning and Teaching Building, 19 Ancora Imparo Way, Clayton