Got Trust? Questions to Ask Yourself When Trusting Colleagues

Got trust? It’s something that needs to be built, right? And respected.

So, how can you trust a colleague you don’t truly know yet? According to a post on Psychology Today, there are several questions you should ask yourself first.

After all, as Nan S. Russell points out in the piece, the notion of trusting someone you don’t know yet feels a bit uneasy. The kind of authentic trust you want to have at work comes with risk. Here are a few questions to ponder…

How important is this task, issue, project? What’s at stake for me if it fails or something goes wrong? What’s at stake for the other person?

What checks and balances or safety nets are currently in place to mitigate my risk? If there aren’t any, what can I do to limit risk and increase my sense of security?

What’s the worst thing that can happen if I give this person my trust, related to this issue? What’s the best thing that can happen?

Even if I make a decision to trust this person, related to this issue or in this situation, how can I revisit how it’s going, without micro-managing or impacting their sense of being trusted?

Does trusting him or her increase my vulnerability or impact future interactions?

What level of trust could I give as a first step?

Will this relationship (or this project) be impacted if I don’t offer trust to this person in this situation? If I do? How? Am I willing to have that happen?

Russell adds, “Without trust, you can’t create an effective work group, influence or lead people who do or don’t report to you, or build strong working relationships. And while people aren’t trustworthy to the same extent, when you assess the risks and choose to offer trust incrementally and situationally, you’ll increase the likelihood of reaping the benefits trusted relationships at work bring.”