Trust: Research on Gaining and Re-gaining Trust in Workplaces

Even extraordinary leaders sometimes struggle with gaining–or much more difficult–regaining trust.

There are many reasons.  Because everyone sees the world differently, sometimes our definitions of trust are not the same.  We, or others, may have been burned in the past and find it difficult to have faith again.

Of course, actions matter more than words.  But, it is useful to have additional tools.

One resource that I’ve found to be helpful is the research conducted by Dennis and Michelle Reina and included in their two books.  You can order them from amazon by clicking on the image of the book covers below.

Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace: Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization
In this book, Dennis and Michelle distinguish three types of trust: contractual, communications, and competence. I’ve found their definitions of these types of trust helpful.
Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace: Seven Steps to Renew Confidence, Commitment and Energy by Dennis S Reina and Michelle L Reina
The seven steps in this book are based in both research and long-standing wisdom.  Those who have read Elisabeth Kublier-Ross’s books on death and dying will find this process resonates.  Often forgiving ourselves is the most important and most difficult task.

Make Every Conversation Count

These books are useful for everyone, but especially those who have participated in our Make Every Conversation Count program.  Click on the image of the book cover to order from amazon.

Among the many books in this area, here are the three we find most helpful:

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott
Susan developed and practiced the ideas in this book during her years as a TEC International–now Visage–chair of CE0 peer-advisory groups. Her role included not only facilitating the monthly CEO meetings but also coaching each CEO once a month. It was during these coaching session that she developed these powerful techniques and a world-class list of questions for increasing the results produced by companies and groups.
On pages 250 and 251, she has a list of powerful questions. It takes some courage to ask these questions but they generate important conversations.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilan, and Al Switzer
The Vital Smarts team–Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilan, and Al Switzer
Crucial Confrontations: Tools for resolving broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilan, and Al Switzer
The Vital Smarts team–Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilan, and Al Switzer–have practical ideas which are supported by research and tested in practice.  They suggestions are easy to understand and, as always, take practice and discipline to implement effectively.

The escalation process described in Crucial Confrontations is the best I’ve seen for addressing on-going problems.  When I’ve used it, it works!