I Don’t Trust You

You will agree that trust is foundational for any relationship, business or personal. Trust is rarely formed accidentally, especially in the workplace. It requires intentional actions, beginning with management.

A few years back, I ran a business with an outside sales force. They were pretty good at their jobs and the Director of Sales was outstanding. Unfortunately she developed a very bad habit of showing for work late on Mondays. Let me define “late” for you; we started work at 8am and she was showing around noon or so.

I talked with her about it several times. She would apologize and promise to do better, but nothing changed. Her team was getting frustrated as well. It was time to do something. I had theorized that she was a weekend alcoholic and Monday morning was her hangover.

I called her into the office for a showdown meeting. I reiterated her unacceptable behavior and told her I needed an explanation and action steps to correct the problem. I was cocked and locked; ready to deal with her behavior.

She started to cry and said that she really did not want to have to tell any of us her problem. Then she confessed to me that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was taking chemo treatments on Saturdays and it made her so sick, she just could not pull it together on Monday.
Upon sharing that with her team, the whole dynamic changed. They became a much stronger team and continued to be successful.

My point: she was afraid to tell any of us about her illness because she was not sure how I would react and she did not want to lose her job. (The world is a much bigger place when you feel two inches tall). I was ashamed of myself. I had not built the trust level she needed.
It is easy to go day in and day out thinking its all okay only to discover a festering sore when it becomes painful.

How are you building trust with your team?

Source: Craig’s Blog


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