Dilbert is often more like a documentary than a comic strip.
And while it’s set in a business, the insights often apply just as well to schools.
The boss’s reply is that he will start trusting Dilbert when he starts seeing him perform well.
It’s a typical stand-off situation. Neither party wants to trust until they’ve seen some evidence of behaviour worth trusting from the other side.
I’ve had similar conversations with my teenage son:
Son: “I’ll do my homework after I’ve been to the movies.”
Me: “I want you to do your homework before you go to the movies.”
Son: “Why? You don’t trust me.”
Me: “Well, I’m just thinking about what’s happened in the past. Once you’ve been to the movies, there’s no incentive for you to get it done.”
And then there’s the conversations we hear about whether students should be allowed to bring their own devices to school:
Some adults: “We can’t trust them to use the technology appropriately at school.”
Some students: “Why should we bother trying to stick to the rules? They don’t trust us anyway.”
What’s the answer?
A culture of trust isn’t developed overnight. It takes time and hard work and deliberate effort and it’s up to the more “powerful” and mature parties in the equation to get things started.
Are you listening, pointy-haired boss?