Trust – a simple word that emits strong emotions in many different ways. Why does the word “trust” forge such powerful feelings? We place our trust in many people day after day, from the school bus driver who takes our children to school to the doctor treating our illnesses. We talk about those we implicitly trust, and lash out at those we do not. Put together the word “trust” and politician and see what reaction you will get!
At the core of every interpersonal relationship is trust. It is the foundation from which we build our families, our friends, and our organizations. A strong sense of trust is needed to keep everyone moving forward toward a common goal regardless if it is a personal or professional relationship.
What happens when your trust in someone is damaged? If it is a casual acquaintance, it is pretty easy to avoid that person, in essence cutting off the relationship. Losing trust in a family member or close friend can be very difficult, but many people are more apt to try and repair the relationship since it may involve someone that you care deeply about and want as part of your life.
Losing trust in your leader creates a whole different set of challenges. Since you are gainfully employed, it is difficult to avoid contact with your leader on a day-to-day basis. And most people do not consider their leaders someone whom they are in love with or have deep feelings for (and if they do, that is a whole different issue!)
When leadership is not trusted, a team member may start to believe the common goal of the organization might just be a leader’s personal agenda, even if it is not. If a team member feels they cannot trust their leader, they feel as if they are out there on their own with no one to back them up.
Is it possible to regain trust of your leader once that trust has been violated?