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In the next few movies, we'll be looking at trust building in unique or particularly challenging situations. We'll start with one of the trickiest situations of all. You don't trust those you work with. You just don't. But why? Sometimes mistrust is a factor of our own personality. Are you more likely to trust everyone you meet, or do you tend to be suspicious of everyone you meet, at least until they've earned your trust.
It's just hard for some of us to trust. Organizational psychologists say that we bring our family to work, and when it comes to trust, that might very well be true. Much of our current propensity to trust comes from experiences we had growing up. So, be it by nature or by nurture, you may simply not be a very trusting person even if you are a very trustworthy person. That inability to trust others though can be exhausting. If you find that it's easier to doubt the motives of those around you than to trust them.
If you find yourself expending energy looking over your shoulder or watching or for yourself then if might be good to be a bit more trusting. To trust others more we can do a few things. First, we need to realize that trusting others does not mean being naive. To trust, don't stick your head in the sand and ignore real risks. But neither should you doubt and suspect everyone around you. Find a happy medium, but lean toward trust. Your next step towards becoming more trusting of others is to challenge your own mistrust perceptions.
Imagine sitting at your desk one morning as your boss makes her way through the office stopping to chat with each employee as she passes their cubicle. When she gets to you, she just walks right on by and leaves. If you struggle to trust others, you may automatically assume ill-will. You might be thinking, why does she hate me so much? What did I do to her? You can challenge your own mistrust by telling yourself at least three innocent reasons she might have passed you by. She suddenly realized the time and had to get somewhere and she thought, you looked busy and didn't want to bother you or the last person she was talking to, had something that had her deep in thought.
Challenge yourself every time you assume someone is up to no good. Finally, if we feel trust has been violated. We should confront the other person to discuss the issue. I was so upset with my supervisor once when I had been shorted financially on a project assigned to me by our senior leadership team. I spent two days feeling wounded and griping to my husband about how my boss didn't have my back. Finally hubby you said, "Why don't you talk to her." So, I went to my boss and to my utter surprise she said, "well I have been talking to the leadership team".
Oh, that took the sting out but that simple misunderstanding could have led to a huge breach in trust. Other times, the disagreement is real. It doesn't just go away with open confrontation. Think about the types of decisions made in your workplace that may result in violations of trust. I want you to hire another person. You think I should be able to handle all the workload alone. I want to work flex time. You insist it is important for me to be in the office from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. My colleague and friend gets laid off.
You have your reasons. You don't have to change your decision, but if I confront you I give you the chance to explain your decision. I can then trust that you aren't just trying to make my life miserable. When you confront someone who has violated your trust, you give them that same chance to explain and to be understood. Remember, if you are trying to become more trusting in general, or trying to reestablish trust when someone has violated your faith in them.
Remind yourself that trust is healthy in a million ways. You can challenge your mistrust perceptions and you can discuss troubling events with your trust violator.
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