Do any of us really trust anyone else, professionally, anymore?
I’m not really sure we understand the meaning of the word “trust” anymore…and that includes me. I don’t really trust a staffer or a contractor to put the same effort into a project that I would. I don’t trust what I read in the papers or hear on TV anymore…because so much of what I read or hear is being distilled through the often-partisan lens of the person saying it. I don’t trust celebrity spokespeople, for obvious reasons.
I don’t trust politicians (putting me - I trust - in the great majority). I don’t trust advertising. I don’t trust many PR campaigns.
We’ve become so used to not trusting that we’ve become almost deaf to how much a part of our daily lives – and our professional lives – it is.
It wasn’t always that way, of course. (And let’s face it…these days, a little healthy skepticism can’t hurt!) Have we all become hired mercenaries, paid pitchmen (and women) for messages we don’t really believe?
I work with a client who exemplifies “trust” – because she couldn’t do her life’s work without it.
Lisa Kristine is a San Francisco photographer whose stunning portraits of native people around the world have won her a slew of honors. She roams the world with a backpack and a camera. And with her simple, unadorned portraits of native people who live in “off-the-map” places, she’s able to touch people all over the world.
But, to photograph these people – many of whom have never before seen a camera – she needs to establish trust. She meets them on their terms, not hers. She takes as much time as they need to feel comfortable with this white woman with blonde hair and a strange-looking contraption that she points at them. She gets them to trust her…to trust her motives, to trust her work.
Her photographs go straight into the souls of her subjects, portraying them in an incredible human dignity. And it’s not only her photographs that are stunning in their beauty and in their simplicity and in their integrity – it’s the subjects in them, as well.
How wonderful that must be…to trust the human beings with whom you work. And to gain their trust.
I can’t help thinking that somehow, somewhere, there must be some kind of lesson in this for us.
President, WINSTON COMMUNICATIONS