破壞的信任很難恢復

By Rick Boxx

你是否曾考慮我們有多麼信任汽油幫浦告訴我們加了多少加侖或公升(美國以外國家)的汽油?並且相信幫浦正確地計算出我們應付的價錢?當我年輕時,聽過有人說加油站在幫浦動手腳多收錢。因此,石油業和零售商就被管制以保護消費者。

若我們要買一輛二手車,我們要依賴銷售員誠實地告訴我們車子的狀況──它如何被駕駛和維修、可能會有的問題、省油的程度等等。當我們去修車廠,除非我們很懂得汽車構造,否則我們只能任他們宰割。他們判斷問題在哪裡,告訴我們哪個部份需要修理,然後告訴我們要多少錢。我們必須相信他們。

但與汽車有關的行業不是唯一測試我們信任度的行業。有些行業比別人更容易受試探,因為他們有可能在產品的品質和數量上作假。因為必須相信供應商所使用的法碼和量器是正確的,顧客常常處於不利的地位。

身為顧客,我們面對一個不小的挑戰──我們能相信誰?我們如何確定可以信任他們?然而,企業、企業主和員工們也有挑戰。他們是否會落入試探,提供較少量的產品,或收較高的錢?事實上,短期的獲利可能會導致長期的損失。若你破壞了顧客的信任,維持企業的「再次惠顧」可能就不再光臨。

在聖經舊約中利未記19章35節教導我們:「你們施行審判,不可行不義;在尺、秤、升、斗上也是如此。」這麼教導的一個原因是這麼做是對的、符合倫理道德的。而且,一旦一個人或一個企業被人知道有不誠實的作法,口耳相傳的速度非常快。

我知道當一家公司不小心多收了一位顧客的錢,而且是顧客付款之後公司才發現。這公司可以置之不理,顧客可能也永遠不會知道,但一位企業主管說:「我知道──而且上帝也知道。」

信任在工商界是很重要的。悲哀的是,只要一次輕率的行為就能抹殺顧客對你的信任,破獲你的生意。聖經不斷地談到誠實正直的獎賞和不誠實與欺騙的後果:

欺騙的事終將會被揭露。當一個人對顧客或客戶不誠實,他最大的恐懼是被發現。「行正直路的,步步安穩;走彎曲道的,必致敗露」(箴言10章9節)。

不誠實將會導致破壞。正直誠信讓我們有保障,而不誠實和不道德的行為常帶來危險。「正直人的純正必引導自己;奸詐人的乖僻必毀滅自己」(箴言11章3節)。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思 的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。

省思 / 討論問題
你如何決定你是否能信任與你作生意的人? 你是否曾發現某家公司的人對你不誠實?若是,你當時如何回應? 你是否曾處於某個環境中,發現不誠實或至少隱瞞事實能幫你作成生意?當時你如何處理那情況? 聖經認為維持正直的標準提供我們導引和保障。你對此有何看法?你是否同意?為什麼?若你想看或討論聖經對此主題的其他部份,請看以下經文:箴言11章1節,13章6節,16章11節,20章10、14、17節,29章4、10節;雅各書2章14-20節

DESTROYED TRUST DIFFICULT TO RESTORE
By Rick Boxx

Have you ever considered how much we trust in the gasoline pump to tell us how many gallons or liters (outside of the United States) of fuel we have just pumped? Also, trusting the pump is properly calculating the price per gallon? When I was young I heard stories about gasoline stations manipulating pumps for personal gain. As a result, the petroleum industry and retailers became regulated to protect consumers.

If we want to purchase a used car, we are dependent on the salesperson”s honesty to tell us about the vehicle – how it has been driven and maintained, problems it might have, the kind of fuel economy we can expect, and other things. When we go to an auto repair shop, unless we are mechanically inclined, we find ourselves at the mercy of the people working there. They diagnose the problems, tell us what will be required to fix them, and then inform us what it will cost. We must trust them.

But businesses related to motor vehicles are not the only ones that test our level of trust. Certain types of business lend themselves more to temptation than others because of the potential for misrepresenting product quality and quantity. Because of the necessity to trust the weights and measures used by the supplier are accurate, customers are often at a disadvantage.

As consumers we face a considerable challenge – whom can we trust, and how can we know for certain we can trust them? However, there also is a challenge for businesses, owners and employees. Will they yield to the temptation to provide less than expected, or charge a fee higher than warranted? In reality, short-term gains can easily lead to long-term losses. If you destroy the trust of customers and clients, “repeat business” that sustains an enterprise can disappear.

In the Bible”s Old Testament, Leviticus 19:35 teaches, "Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights." One reason for this teaching is that it is the right, ethical and moral thing to do. Also, once a person or business becomes known for dishonest practices, word spreads quickly.

I have known of several instances when a business unknowingly overcharged a customer, only to discover the error after the invoice had already been paid. The error could have been ignored, and the customer might never have known about it. But as one business executive stated, “I would know – and God would know.”

Trust is critical in business. Sadly, just one indiscretion can wipe out the trust of your customers and destroy your business. The Bible repeatedly talks about the rewards of honesty and integrity, and the consequences of dishonesty and deceit:

Deception will be revealed. When one is not forthright and honest with a customer or client, the greatest fear is being discovered. “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9).

Dishonesty will destroy. Integrity provides security, while dishonest and unethical actions pose constant danger. “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3).

Copyright 2014, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How do you determine if you can trust people with whom you do business? Has there ever been a time when you discovered people at a company were being dishonest with you? If so, how did you respond? Have you ever found yourself in circumstances where it would have been expedient to be dishonest or at least shade the truth to secure a sale or close a deal? How did you handle that situation? What do you think of the biblical idea that maintaining a standard of integrity provides guidance and offers security? Do you agree – why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:1, 13:6, 16:11, 20:10,14,17, 29:4,10; James 2:14-20

Show More