If you are struggling with loss of trust in your coalition, you CAN regain it over time. As much as it would be nice to just do one “big” thing to regain trust, the little things over time make the biggest difference. Since trust usually isn’t lost immediately (although I just had an experience where a partner blatantly said he was planning to use our stuff without giving credit…), regaining trust often takes time. One of the challenging aspects of regaining trust is that you have to be even more intentional than you did to initially earn the trust. Join me this week as I highlight three things you can do to regain trust in your coalition.
One of the most powerful ways to regain trust in any relationship is to demonstrate humility and sincerely apologize for the specific ways we have damaged trust and the relationship. Although this can be really challenging and takes incredible vulnerability (thank you, Brené Brown), relationships can be restored through a willingness to say “I’m sorry for…”
Do things differently
Once you have sincerely apologized, the next step is to demonstrate that you will do things differently. For instance, if you made a decision without communicating or consulting with someone who was impacted by that decision, next time, go directly to that person. Consider what you can do differently that will demonstrate your commitment to regaining trust. Be willing to ask the person you are regaining trust with how you could do things differently next time. These will often be the same things you do to build trust (showing genuine interest, clarifying expectations, keeping commitments).
After apologizing and doing things differently, we are ready for everything to be ok again! In some situations and relationships, this is possible. When we have already built a lot of trust in the relationship and there was a minor trust betrayal, regaining the trust may happen fairly quickly. However, in many situations, we have to keep demonstrating trust over time to regain the trust. We also need to pay attention to what is important to those with whom we would like to regain trust. If we are practicing trust-building behaviors that are not seen as trust-building behaviors, we will struggle with actually regaining the trust. Alternatively, when we really focus on understanding the other person, we can practice doing the things that are received as trust-building activities.
If you would like another tool to support you in this work of regaining trust, check out Brené Brown’s BRAVING Inventory. This can be used to both build trust and to regain trust. As a matter of fact, I am about to apply this to planning an upcoming meeting that has several passionate leaders who have varying levels of trust among one another.
So what about you? Which of these four areas need to be addressed in your coalition right now?