While most of us don't work in such politically charged, made-for-reality-TV workplaces, we do encounter similar missteps, even mini-dramas, impacting trust levels in our own work groups of peers, staff, coworkers, and leaders.
While it's easy to point fingers or notice others' trust-derailing behaviors, it is difficult to create personal awareness about our own. In reality, we all contribute to the trust or distrust levels where we work, often through unintentional, mindless behaviors that diminish trust.
There are numerous ways we can spark distrust at work; below are a few. Whether you're someone's leader or coworker, consider how many of these behaviors are true, more often than not, for you.
15 Mindless Ways to Sabotage and Derail Trust in Your Work Group
- Focus on your "win" without thinking how it's achieved or its impact on others
- Ignore standards, values, policies, approaches teammates are expected to follow
- Operate with 20th-century thinking in a 21st-century world; stop learning at work
- Treat your small work issues, needs, or problems as five-alarm fires
- Practice "cordial hypocrisy" — i.e. "pretend trust when there is none."
- Be unresponsive to requests that aren't of personal interest or importance to you
- Share confidential information from or about others
- Give the perception of mutually beneficial relationships, but create only faux ones
- Lack follow through on what you say you'll do
- See people as interchangeable parts; be unaware of others needs, interests, talents
- Confuse friendship or loyalty with authentic trust
- Deflect or explain away input, feedback, or criticism that you don't like
- Infrequently take on more responsibility, assist others, or share your knowledge
- Speak up when you're against something; remain quiet about what you're for
- Play on a team of one more often than not
There are many way to create self-awareness, to build the skill of being mindfully aware of how you're showing up and what impact you have on those you work with. Start by regularly asking: Did my behaviors or actions contribute or diminish trust today?