When trust is in trouble: The top 10 alarms

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013

You already have one of the best tools for taking stock of trust in your workplace. It’s with you at all times — in the form of your own two ears.

By listening for certain comments, you can gauge the extent to which trust is calling out for improvement. You can also gain insights into how trust can be improved.

What should catch your ear?

Below are 10 behaviors that spell trouble for trust. Included with each is a sample comment similar to what you might be hearing in your own workplace. You’re going to hear it before you see it, so stay alert.

1. Placing blame: “If he hadn’t spent so much time analyzing the data, we would’ve met the deadline.”

2. Selectively sharing information: “She’s the only person in the team who should get this information.”

3. Telling secrets: “Don’t tell anyone here that I told you this, but…”

4. Acting locally: “Let’s focus on what our work unit needs. The other units can fend for themselves.”

5. Dredging up the past: “He really dropped the ball on this three years ago.”

6. Asking for guarantees: “Will you put in writing what you’re promising to do?”

7. Doing inspections: “Let me take a look at your work before you move on to the next stage.”

8. Undoing commitments: “I wish I could follow through on what I said, but the situation has changed so much since then that there’s no way. ”

9. Harboring doubt: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

10. Hedging: “I trust you, I really do, but…”