Breaking Trust in the Workplace - [website] Email Print
Published: 17th of Feb 2023 by: Shona Potgieter

Have you heard about Donetto the Chianina bull? He holds the world record for the heaviest bull weighing in at 1780 kg. For the purposes of this blog we are going to be inviting him into a china shop.

Okay not quite, but we are inviting him to charge through your office and past your desk where your Valentines flowers are still prettily displayed in your favourite vase. You know, the blue one, your wedding gift from your favourite aunt on your father's side...

Sadly, even though poor Donetto does have a cool name, he just is not agile enough to avoid that vase and just like you didn't trust this scenario to turn out well, neither did we. The result is that your vase is now broken and so is your trust in the doorman. Why oh why did he not just do his job and keep the door closed?

Bummer! You really liked that pretty blue vase.
You grab the superglue and start rebuilding...

Soon you have something closely resembling the perfect blue vase, were it of course not for the clear cracks and lines covering it now. In the end, no matter how carefully you work and how many hours you spend gluing the pieces back together, it just won't go back to looking the way it was.

We are sure you get the metaphor, but to avoid any misinterpretation... The vase represents trust.

There have, in fact, been countless metaphors to aid visual representation to the concept of breaking trust... From breaking a plate and gluing it together or crumbling up a piece of paper and trying to smooth it back out again.

Ultimately it all comes down to: Trust can be rebuilt, but it will never go back to the way it was...

The cost of the breaking trust in a team is huge... You'll find that morale is low and motivation and productivity suffers. Everybody ends up double checking everyone else, nobody wants to make decisions and ultimately it just becomes an unpleasant environment for all involved. And there is a big risk of it permeating to the rest of the organisation.

So what can you do to avoid breaking trust in the workplace?
1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open.
2. Be Reliable.
3. Take Accountability.

And if point number 2 or 3 prove to be a challenge... Refer back to point number 1.

Fact is, point number 1 really is your go-to rule for any and all interpersonal relationships.

Now, I could very easily go and write another page or two on building or rebuilding trust in the workplace... But I'm sure you didn't exactly plan on spending more than a minute or two reading about what I had to say about the issue (haha!).

So why not hear it directly from our experts at our 3 Day Leadership training?

Feel free to get in touch with us if you would like find out more about our large variety of training courses, we offer customised training as well, ensuring that we match your specific needs and requirements.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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