7 Misunderstood Truths About Workplace Trust

Trust is the most misunderstood word at work, resulting in perceptions of broken promises and trampled expectations.

The lonely office conversationalist

Only when there is a commitment to the relationship is authentic trust built. When mutual commitments are delivered without concern for personal advantage or attempted manipulation or control, trust grows.

  1. Mistrust is not the opposite of trust. Control is. Notice where there is a lack of authentic trust and you’ll see controlling people. Giving trust is a choice to be made but once it’s given, accountability tied with freedom is at its core.
  2. There is always risk when giving trust. Authentic trust is an action developed through critical thought and experience. It doesn’t deny the past or ignore the possibility of future trust broken, either intentional or unintentional. Those operating with authentic trust weigh the risks and benefits before giving it.
  3. Trust is a process. Authentic trust is a learned emotional skill. It involves an ongoing process of relationship building, where the relationship is more important than any one particular outcome.
  4. Trust is about people not things. Trust involves interpersonal engagement. We may use the word, associating trust with things as well as people, but one can’t really “trust” their car. We confuse trust with “dependable” or “reliable.” Authentic trust requires commitments made and commitments honored. It necessitates decision, action, and response.
  5. Trust is conditional. There are limits and conditions with authentic trust. When we say we trust someone, there is a presumed statement of conditionality. I may trust my mechanic to work on my car, but I don’t trust him to do my root canal
  6.  To get trust you must give it. If you want to be trusted you must first give trust. Sharing, not hoarding information gets you communication, and respect comes by respecting others. As a relationship process, authentic trust is no different. Contrary to popular belief, trust is not earned. You start trust by giving trust.

Photo: “The lonely office conversationalist” by Oscar D., on Flickr

via 7 Misunderstood Truths About Workplace Trust | Psychology Today.

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