Restoring the Trust at Work

Trust drives any relationship whether it is a relationship between parents and their offspring, the relationship between spouses, the relationship between friends or relationship between colleagues or with their respective bosses. The foundation of any relationship - be it a personal or professional -is “Trust.” Relationships of all kinds are built on and sustained by trust. Trust means confidence; when an individual trusts another individual it means that they have faith in them – in their integrity and their abilities. However, on the contrary, if the individual distrusts someone they are suspicious about the integrity and abilities of the other individual.

Regrettably, today the trust factor is low amongst people. People are suspicious all the time, even if the person is genuine about their intentions, most of them will surely question it, that is the sad reality of today’s world that we are living in. In a corporate set up, the mistrust starts when people manipulate or distort facts or when people tend to overpromise and under deliver or often feel unproductive tension- sometimes even fear. A question arises that once the distrust environment creeps into an organization is it possible that the trust can be restored? The answer is yes in certain situations it is possible to restore the lost trust i.e ‘Organizations are no longer built on force, but on trust.’ - Peter Drucker

To restore the lost trust, the first essential is Intent which is vital to trust. A person with a clear and honest intent always shows, and people tend to believe in those. Positive intent and trust are in harmony with each other. Your motive matters, if the person knows that you have the intention of working on restoring the and genuinely seeking to understand the other person’s point of view, half the battle is won. It is essential to reveal your intentions if you want people to trust you.

Listening is another crucial aspect of restoring lost trust. Distrust in the workplace mostly takes place when there is a hindrance in listening, i.e. when people fail to listen to understand. You should listen to the person and reflect back to them your understanding about what the other person is saying so that there is a clear picture of what they are saying and what you have understood. No judging or assuming just reflecting the understanding.

.Effective Communication is a useful tool for restoring trust in an organization. The trust factor increases when communication is done freely and honestly. Effective communication is the art of telling the truth while leaving the right impression. Leaving the right impression means communicating so clearly that you cannot be misunderstood. One of the best examples is that of Mr. Warren Buffett who every year writes a management letter for his company’s annual report. His letters are descriptions of things as they really are, without spin. As things are in black and white, it transforms a culture of the organization for good.

The idea that once there is a loss of trust, it cannot be restored is now a myth, but it would require a lot of patience and perseverance in order to restore or rebuild the lost trust.