Default to Trust

The worst thing you can do in your work environment (and your life) is to default to a position of “distrust” of those around you.

Case in point:

We use Slack at work. There are hundreds of people in our company in our Slack team, across dozens of channels. Slack has some amazing integrations that allow users to connect various services to Slack to post into channels or otherwise do cool things. Some are fun (like Giphy – post a silly animated gif into a channel based on a keyword), while some are really helpful (get build notifications when development pushes updates).

Our Slack has been set to "distrust" all users.
Our Slack has been set to “distrust” all users.
At our company, the ability to create those integrations is restricted to the admins only.

The net effect is a complete stifling of innovation around communication via Slack. A team member can’t just connect up a service themselves. Instead they have to go to an admin and make a case for it.

The reason given is that the company wants to keep the signal high and the noise low. But that assumes that all integrations are noise, and that users can’t be trusted to make the call on whether a) an integration has real value, and b) to get rid of any integration that turns out to be too noisy.

Default to “trust”

Starting from a position of distrust means potentially missing out on real positive change, and it has a chilling effect on innovation. Most times when looking at a potential integration, users will deem it “not worth their time” to try to make their case to add it and will instead just go on without it.

Trust the people around you until they give you reason to be disappointed. And if and when they do show that your trust in them was maybe misguided, take the opportunity to redirect and educate rather than clamping down on all users.