Conflict often leads to a breakdown of relationships and trust. Trust is a key element of positive working and personal relationships. When trust breaks down, people can feel devalued, disconnected leading to low engagement, high turnover and reduced innovation.
In organizations, a breakdown of trust can come from a singular event such as conflict, a poorly managed change effort or restructuring, or most often it comes from small subtle patterns of behaviour that lead to a slow erosion of trust. Examples include working with others who consistently fail to prepare for meetings, who are slow to respond to email or who gossip regularly.
In his book ‘The Thin Book of Trust’, Charles Feltman identifies the 4 Distinctions of Trust which are our assessments about how a person is likely to act. Together they define what we consider to be a person’s level of trustworthiness. Check in with yourself on the points below to see how you may come across to others in terms of trustworthiness.
If trust has broken down, check in with yourself and others to see how you are doing in the four categories above. Starting to work with others on these areas can help us to repair relationships and move on from conflict.