How to maintain and restore trust with your teammates (Inc)

By Tanya Prive 

If you are like most people, you think of trust as this fuzzy, feel-good thing. “I like somebody, therefore, I trust them,” is how Joel Peterson, author of The Ten Laws of Trust, puts it. In reality, trust is the operating system upon which relationships function. In the absence of trust, there is no workability. 

Think about a relationship in your life, either at work or in your personal life, that is strained. Is that relationship a trusting one? Is it workable? Probably not, right?  

Trust is a function of integrity. If you can count on someone, meaning there’s no gap between what they say and what they do, which is what integrity is, ultimately, they are someone you trust. If you can’t count on someone because what they say isn’t a match or is inconsistent with what they do, they cannot be trusted.  

Trust is what allows relationships to work. Here I want to focus on what you can do to restore trust after it’s broken. This is crucial, because in the absence of trust, there will be a decline in performance within your team and, ultimately, your company. Here’s how to fix it. 

Own up to your shortcomings

While you might be under the impression that being a few hours or days late to turn in that project you promised isn’t that big of a deal, it creates a gap between what you said and what you did, thus slowly but surely eroding the trust between you and the colleagues, and tarnishing your reputation.  

It isn’t easy to admit when you didn’t do what you said. Often, we avoid having to face our shortcomings, instead hoping they’ll just go away on their own, or better, that no one will even notice when we’ve slipped. Usually, this isn’t the case. Someone always notices when you fall short on what you said you were going to do, and the best way to fix this is to  admit to it and vow to do better next time. 

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