114 How to regain trust

Gaining someone’s trust can be hard. Losing it is easy. Regaining it is seemingly impossible. In this episode, we talk about how to regain trust.

How to regain trust

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from David Horsager:

The single uniqueness of the greatest leaders and organizations of all time is trust.”

In this episode, Leary and Armin talk about why trust is important, what it is made of, how it gets broken, and how we can regain it when it is. Here are the steps they suggest to regain trust:

  1. Identify how you broke trust. 
  2. Acknowledge the damage done and how the other may have felt. 
  3. Apologize for breaking the trust. 
  4. Create a plan to regain their trust.
  5. Solicit feedback and check in along the way.
  6. Deliver and ask for the other’s thoughts on what you delivered. 

They also caution that regaining trust takes time and cannot happen until the other overcomes three doubts: the doubt of sincerity, the doubt of ability, and the doubt of durability. One plan and deliverable will not usually restore trust to where it was, so be prepared to repeat steps 4–6 as many times as needed. Remember, too, that, unfortunately, there are times when it will be impossible to regain someone’s trust. 

Quotes from the show:

  • “The trusted leader is the leader [who’s] actually followed. A lack of trust is your biggest expense.” —Armin
  • “If you want a high-performance relationship, it’s gotta be built on trust, too.” —Leary
  • “There’s a fundamental, psychological need for trust and trusted relationships.” —Leary
  • “Trust is comprised of clarity.” —Leary
  • “If you commit, deliver. If you can’t deliver, don’t commit.” —Armin
  • “Trust is one of those things that gets strengthened only through testing. Trust is not a static thing. It’s either growing or eroding. The way it grows is by showing that it’s stable. You almost have to test it in some ways to know that you got the trust there because trust holds up under the test.” —Leary
  • “Trust is broken when someone’s expectation is not met.” —Leary
  • “When we don’t take what we say seriously, we don’t take what we do seriously, and we don’t consider the impact of what we say or do on other people, it’s a recipe for distrust or for broken trust.” —Leary
  • “Until you get through those three doubts, […] the other party will not respond with renewed trust.” —Leary
  • “I don’t think you should apologize until you understand, first of all, what you are clearly apologizing for and how it affected them. If you don’t know those two things, then you can’t form an adequate apology.” —Leary
  • “If you’re creating a plan, the most important question is not ‘Why?,’ […] it’s ‘How?’ You can’t ask that question once, you can’t ask that question twice, you need to ask that question three times.” —Armin

This week’s Challenge Me:

Identify someone whose trust you broke. Identify how you broke trust with him or her, then follow the simple plan suggested in this episode and let us know how it works for you.

If you’ve been on the other end as someone hurt by another person not proving trustworthy, do us a favor and, in the comments below, tell us about any stories and principles you think our listeners would find helpful.

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