Intercultural collaboration on the axis of trust

Intercultural collaboration on the axis of trust


The concept of trust is positioned as the backbone of any sustainable and productive relationship between employee and employer. This is based, in essence, on the professional sphere on two main coordinates. Rational, professional trust, anchored in competence and performance, and emotional, relational trust, based on genuine personal connections and mutual empathy.

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True story: Arvind’s experience in Romania

Arvind is a professional chef from India who arrived in Romania to work in Alba Iulia at a restaurant. The owner here was constantly checking on him, criticizing him, nagging him. Finally Arvind resigned and went to Sighisoara to Villa Franka. The owner here sometimes stays with the employees (Romanian and Asian) until they finish work, cooks with them and sits for tea and stories from time to time. Arvind is very happy and this is reflected in his work.

Analysis of Arvind's experience

Studying Arvind’s case, we notice that the first work environment did not encourage building a relationship of emotional trust. It focuses exclusively on the rational and professional aspect of trust. At Villa Franka, on the other hand, the owner took a different approach. It facilitated building a relationship of emotional trust with his employees, which had a positive impact on Arvind’s happiness and performance.

Rational and professional trust

Characteristics and applicability in the professional environment

On the rational axis of trust, the importance is given to efficiency and productivity in the professional environment. Trust is built by consistently delivering and demonstrating notable results over time. Also, this trust can be fragile, as it is based on tangible results, which can vary according to various practical circumstances, such as profitability.

Examples of rational-professional relationships

Given this type of trust, we can observe stable professional relationships in contexts such as those between the United States and Saudi Arabia or even in Romania. Professional partnerships are governed by clear rules and performance objectives.

Emotional and relational trust

Developing personal relationships

On the emotional axis, trust is formed and cultivated over a longer period of time by creating a deep personal connection. Such relationships are characterized by informal discussions, exchange of knowledge and facing together similar problems.

Practical tips for creating a relationship of emotional trust

To illustrate this type of trust, we can take the example of a friendship between colleagues. Where the exchange of personal experiences is encouraged, being vulnerable and empathetic towards each other. It is essential to foster cultural understanding and empathy to facilitate the resolution of misunderstandings.

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Understanding Arvind’s Experience: Rational versus Emotional Trust

Arvind, a talented chef originally from India, had two contrasting work experiences in Romania. Analyzing his career path, we can see how the interaction between rational and emotional trust can influence job satisfaction and productivity.

Rational Trust in the First Commitment

In his first work experience at Alba Iulia, the relationship with the employer was characterized by a strong emphasis on rational trust. The constant supervision and harsh criticism that Arvind endured daily underscored the importance of performance and efficiency in that work environment. Unfortunately, this strictly professional approach created a tense work environment that inhibited the fostering of personal relationships and ultimately led to Arvind’s resignation.

Rediscovering Emotional Trust at Villa Franka

Arvind arrived in Sighisoara, at Villa Franka, and discovered a work environment where emotional trust was as valued as rational trust. Here, the employer dined with the employees, talking and cooking together, thus creating a space where people could get to know and appreciate each other. This approach facilitated the development of strong personal bonds, transforming the workplace into a space of trust and mutual respect.

Recommendations for Cultivating a Harmonious Balance Between the Two Types of Trust

In the light of Arvind’s experience, it is recommended to cultivate an organizational culture that balances rational and emotional aspects.

  • Supporting Personal Relationships Employers should encourage employees to build genuine personal relationships by providing spaces and opportunities for informal interactions. Team-building events or communal meals can be organized, where employees have the opportunity to share experiences and create strong bonds.
  • Maintaining High Professional Standards In parallel, it is essential to maintain high professional standards, promoting meritocracy and recognition of individual efforts. Employees need to know that their performance and dedication is recognized and appreciated.

The axis of trust

“By harmoniously integrating rational and emotional trust into organizational culture, companies can create a work environment that promotes not only productivity, but also employee well-being. Arvind’s experience demonstrates that the balance between these two forms of trust can be the key to an environment of happier and more productive thing.”