Struggling with a dysfunctional relationship at work? Have you just accepted that is how it will be and now you are armoring up defensively? Is CYA your new SOP? Don’t give up or give in on the relationship because you have lots of control over how it goes. You can turn it around!
In my experience, lack of trust is at the root of dysfunction. Frequently we view the relationship like a 50/50 transaction which goes something like “I will trust you when you’ve earned it” with a layer of “I will start trusting you once you trust me.”
When you look at it from this perspective, how do you even get started? What if no one wants to go first? It doesn’t have to be complicated or mysterious. We can break it down so it is simple to tackle.
Trust between two people has four separate parts.
- Trusting you is my decision.
- Trusting me is yours.
- Proving me right is your choice.
- Proving you right is mine.
Trust is precious but it isn’t all or nothing. There are degrees of trust and every bit helps. Each part is independent so focus on what you can control. Who we trust is up to us and we have equal control over our own trustworthiness too.
Decide to trust- it is the ultimate relationship management. Be upfront about what is important to you. Share early and often when it is going well. When it goes sideways, give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume you are in it together and that your trust isn’t fragile and likely to shatter. You can mend it when it breaks.
Grow, build, and nurture trust until it grows strong. You can’t make someone trust you- They are under NO OBLIGATION. But you CAN make it easier for them through your social awareness. By having a deep understanding of what they value you can behave in a way that both honors and avoids violating it.
Emotional Intelligence is the key to functional relationships. The great news is that unlike toilet paper during a pandemic there isn’t a limit on your EQ. You never have to run out. You can level up your awareness as well as your ability to positively impact your relationships. Prevent and cure dysfunction by cultivating trust.