An article in our local paper from Kansas City Star reporter Diane Stafford reminded me to share our take on rebuilding trust with you. Her take on rebuilding trust is to face it, frame it, forgive it, forget it. She bases this on several authors on trust she has studied. So, it is almost as if the answer is “your trust is broken, boo-hoo, get over it”.
Her is our take:
Rebuilding trust is extremely difficult. Broken trust is not easy to get over because often, the person who needs to rebuild our trust is not even aware that he or she has broken our trust. Unless a crisis occurs, or unless we confront that person, they are not necessarily aware that we don’t trust them anymore. Then, when a trust violation has occurred, that person does not often stop to ask how they can repair the trust that has been broken. They should–that is what we would advise and that is what we do if we act untrustworthy, but it is not easy. It takes humility and courage to admit your mistake, ask for forgiveness and then ask how you can make amends. That alone is probably one reason that rebuilding trust is so difficult and rare.
There are times when there is no other option than to terminate the relationship with the person who has violated your trust. They may never know why you stopped calling or stopped interacting with them, but you know. The hurt from their violation stays with you as you wonder how they could have been to careless as to hurt a long-standing relationship.
If you are the one who violated someone’s trust, there are many ways to rebuild trust, including using our ROCC of Trust. You can do simple things like:
1) Be reliable: follow through on commitments
2) Be open and honest: and admit that you made a mistake
3) Be competent: by fixing your mistakes
4) Be compassionate: by forgiving others when they make a mistake and by apologizing when you make one.
We don’t want to imply that rebuilding trust is easy–it is not. It takes time and a deliberate decision that the relationship is important enough to preserve. Only you can answer that question and make the effort.