Tina, the marketing manager of a large manufacturing company, ran a department plagued by employee complaints and excessive turnover. Her 360-feedback and staff interviews revealed that her colleagues and her direct reports did not trust her. 

Tina’s arrogant and cocky communication style turned them off. She frequently and abruptly cut off communication. Tina micromanaged staff assignments and insisted that all work flow through her.  Once she received an assignment from a staff member she frequently redid it or changed the specs altogether.  Her team felt like their work didn’t matter and they were being set up for failure. 

She also prevented them from collaborating and supporting each other and did not support them in meetings with her colleagues and manager.  It was easy to see why no one who worked with her trusted her.

To rebuild her damaged relationships, Tina needed to listen, admit mistakes, demonstrate a willingness to change and invest time with people.

Are you….

  1. Listening?  Listening is the key to mending fences and healing wounds.  It isn’t about defending or being right or wrong; it is about showing respect by acknowledging another’s point of view.  Don’t get distracted, multi-task or allow for interruptions.
  2. Admitting mistakes? Start taking some of the heat.  Admit what you did, intentionally or otherwise, that might have contributed to the erosion of the relationship.  Don’t blame others. Be sincere.
  3. Showing willingness to change?  People are waiting to see if you really mean what you say.  Begin by making small but strategic changes towards progressIf you have listened to others, you will know where to begin.
  4. Investing time?  Spend time with individuals to reconnect.  Keep your commitments and be consistent in your new behaviors.  Trust takes time to rebuild.

Check out the Do’s and Don’ts of Delegation.