Rebuilding Trust

Trust is the foundation of all healthy working relationships. Here are five ways you can rebuild trust after it has been broken.

Talk about it: Talk directly with the person involved. Give yourself time to gather your thoughts and identify what is bothering you. Find a time and place that works for both of you to discuss. Ignoring the issue does not mean it will disappear.

Reframe the situation: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Ask yourself, how is that person experiencing me? What might he or she be feeling, seeing, hearing, and assuming? What is my role in this situation?

Undo assumptions: You have heard this before: CYA (check your assumptions). Our assumptions can get in the way of what is fact and create an emotional response. Acknowledge your assumptions and identify the facts to help frame the conversation.

Seek out a third party: If the situation feels overwhelming, or you have tried multiple times to repair the relationship, it might be best to seek out an unbiased third party (such as a mediator or HR representative) to facilitate a conversation. This can create a safe environment where both parties feel comfortable sharing their thoughts/concerns. 

Track progress: We often forget this step. It is crucial to follow up after we have the conversation. Rebuilding takes time and is an investment. Wait a month or two and check in with the other party to see how things are working and if any changes or requests come up.