Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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Fall in Trust

The Thriving Essentials Series. Episode 10


Security is freedom from fear, danger, or anxiety, and feeling secure enables one to trust and thrive.

When we think of falling into a state filled with profound emotion, we usually think about falling in love. But another type of fall is equally terrifying but required to thrive. It is a fall in trust. To dive into this, I have a question for you. –  Imagine standing on a tree stump with your arms crossed over your chest and falling backward, believing another will break your fall.
Does this sound familiar?

I bet it does! It is a well-known exercise called a trust fall. Trust falls are exercises that many of us are familiar with. Back in the day, they were a staple at corporate team-building events. But in the mid-2010s, they lost popularity in corporate circles due to legal liability. Also, trust falls did not translate into trust in real-life situations because trust does not develop in a fictional fall. Trust develops over time through shared struggle, honesty, and genuine appreciation.


The Pricelessness of Trust

I have a hunch many of us may have declined to participate in a trust fall exercise despite coaxing and an onslaught of peer pressure. However, all of us have partaken in a trust fall emotionally. – Possibly by putting our confidence in our leaders to shepherd our careers or making the courageous choice to love another. – The latter is well articulated in the quote: Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, and trusting they won’t use it.
For some, this statement might be off-putting due to its dramatic nature.  But it bears truth because when we open our hearts to another in love, we decide to care and, in so doing, allow them to hurt our feelings. However, we do so, trusting they are worth the risk and will never abuse the privilege and destroy us. – Veritably, love is the ultimate trust fall, and trust is priceless!

Indeed, we cannot purchase trust in a grocery store, Amazon marketplace, or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills because trust has no price tag. Also, like love, trust is highly desired and required for thriving. Therefore, it is valuable to grasp what enables one to fall in trust. To do so, I invite you to consider one word: Security.
Whether referring to prized belongings or us as humans, security and trust are vital peas in a pod. How so? You may ask.


Insuppressible Needs

In a marriage, a woman needs to believe when she shares her innermost thoughts and fears with her husband, he will not be careless with his words and trample over her heart. Or empty their bank account and flee the home, leaving her and their children in need. Similarly, many men describe a desirable home as a place where they are held in high esteem and do not have to hide their vulnerabilities to shield themselves from caustic disapproval and vile criticism.

In the professional sphere, workers seek assurance that the organization will not sacrifice their livelihood for a positive earnings outlook that will enchant Wall Street. Additionally, an older employee desires to know she will not lose her seat at the table to a young whippersnapper who walks through the door because he is computer-literate and speaks in a string of buzzwords.


Looming insecurity and its effects

Fundamentally, employees desire to believe that when they part ways with an organization, the organization will do its utmost to treat them with dignity and respect and enable them to land softly. – Did you know this is so significant that another definition of security appeared in the Merriam-Webster dictionary? – That definition is: security is freedom from the prospect of being laid off.
In all, to feel secure is to be free from fear, anxiety, or danger.

When our need for security is unmet in a relationship, fear looms, we hesitate to go all in, and the relationship falters. At such times, we may strive to secure the relationship by doing everything but ensuring the other person feels secure. – This may manifest as expensive gifts, fancy toys, buttery words, or desperate attempts to convince others what we offer meets their needs. I suspect many can share such examples. However, to go deeper, let us consider a sensational unveiling in the field of employment!


A sensational unveiling

Earlier this month, a recent article revealed findings from a LinkedIn and Microsoft study suggesting that this year, 2024, organizations can expect higher attrition rates than those they experienced two years ago during the Great Resignation! As we may recall, the Great Resignation was the period after the COVID-19 pandemic when employees left their cubicles in droves. When we explored this realm in 2022, I took the stance that what was needed was a balance of power in the workplace! Balance, not domination or sameness, is essential to cultivate healthy relationships, build effective teams, and drive sustainable growth. You may read more at What is Needed When the Scales Tip!
Now, you may wonder, what could lead the rank and file to flee again – so soon?

According to the study, the impending mass exodus in the workplace will be due to burnout, a lack of learning opportunities, and artificial intelligence (AI). It seems AI has become the young whippersnapper that is threatening to take away salaries from everyone – regardless of age! But besides the AI shake-up, what would ruffle feathers and lead to a mass exodus? LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index found that nearly 6 out of 10 employees in the U.S. who are actively seeking a new job report feeling stuck in their jobs, and 5 out of 10 feel burned out! Also, Microsoft’s Work Trend Index corroborates this and reports that 46% of workers globally feel burned out.
(Referenced article: Workers are eyeing exit in 2024…)


Falling in trust

Undeniably, this outlook is gloomy, but there is hope!
Should a mass emigration from offices and Zoom screens occur, true leaders will wrestle with a pivotal question to ensure sustainable success. – How can I foster a sense of security across my organizationEssentially, how do I help my employees to fall in trust with the organization?

The answer is not to babysit employees and turn the workplace into an amusement park. Or require workers to sign an ironclad contract that limits their employment opportunities outside the organization to those under the table, in a seedy alley, or on the dark web. That is bondage! Such machinations will surely backfire, awakening a fiery will within employees to look for any way out, like a bird trapped in a cage with one kernel of corn.


Friend, as we know all too well, captivity does not birth a desire to stay. It arouses the will to flee. If you want another to stay, give them a compelling reason by earning their trust. – This is the opportunity leading organizations will seize to drive sustainable growth in 2024 and beyond.

Until next time!

For you and to you,


Image credit: Pexels | Sergey Romaneko



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