Trust is a fundamental building block for workplace relationships. Restoring trust up the organizational ladder and down has both advantages and disadvantages. Peer trust, one-on-one, has some unique characteristics.
Can you rediscover peer trust?
The most truthful answer is, “Maybe.” Peer-to-peer trust is tricky because there is less formal authority to help nurture the process. There is also a difference in the perceived potential for gain, loss, or value.
Rediscover Peer Trust
Here are three important steps to consider:
- Acknowledge. This may feel like the most difficult part, yet understanding how or why trust has been lost is important. Sometimes it is as simple as miscommunication or suspicion and imagination run wild. Talk about what or why things happened. Honesty will be important. Attempt to see the situation from the other person’s perspective.
- Value. Discuss why a trusting relationship is important for your role. Consider the consequences of shutdowns or shut outs. Avoiding each other may feel better but it also may create challenges for being successful in your job role. Remember why you are there and what needs to be accomplished. You may discover you have common needs and those needs can serve as a stepping stone to get things started.
- Communicate. Keeping the lines of communication open will be important. Be more emotionally aware of triggers or sign posts that may disrupt your attempt to rebuild trust. Closed doors, snickering, smirking, and private jokes centered around serious discussions are some simple things to avoid. Show good faith that you are trying to keep things open. Be honest, transparent, and inclusive.
Who said it would be easy? Trust is a challenging subject, especially in a peer-to-peer relationship. When we develop a stronger understanding of why trust is important for our success there will be a much better chance of restoring it.
Be committed to doing good work. Be honest and connect work with your heart. When you love what you do or love the reasons why you do it you’ll do a great job.
Trust will matter. Put in the emotional labor, be patient, and work with integrity.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.