Trust in the workplace: 4 thoughts from a coaching perspective
How much do you actively consider: ‘Do I trust other people at work?’ And I wonder if you consider what effect your level of trust has on you and your colleagues.
Being trusting is a complex thing - trust too much and you may get exploited - don’t trust enough and you may potentially lose out on opportunities. Tricky - isn’t it?
I have worked with many clients who have issues related to trusting colleagues at work.
My thoughts are:
1 You gain more from trusting people - than not. On the whole it’s better to trust more - because high trust: improves team morale, can help people feel accepted, will make you more likely to be honest and authentic and you are more likely to support others to fulfil their aspirations. There are also mental and physical health benefits of trusting other people, including: lowered anxiety and depression. In addition, if you trust your organisation, it’s likely that you will be more committed to it and your performance will improve.
2 Hold back: when sharing confidential/personal information about yourself, particularly to people you don’t know well. Think of new colleagues neutrally, after all, you don’t know them – yet. Be friendly but don’t make your life an open book. In fact, consider not making sensitive parts of your personal life an open book at work - full stop!
3 If you’re not sure whether to trust someone: evaluate your thoughts using both evidence and your intuition. Especially seek evidence not from what is said, but what is done and also seek the views of others you feel are impartial.
4 Consider the differences: between you and a colleague and whether this may be affecting how much you trust them. They may have something new and worthwhile to contribute even if they’re different from you in terms of their characteristics or personality. if you feel if this is a barrier to you trusting them, get to know them and aim to build rapport and understanding.
Remember: if you treat people as trustworthy, then they are more likely to become so (and vice-versa!)
If you are interested in this article and wish to talk further please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I work with clients across a range of businesses to improve workplace behavioural skills and would love to hear from you!