Been thinking about trust a lot lately, mostly because I'm working with someone who's having trouble trusting her team.

Trust is a tricky thing, because in order to trust someone who's even kind-of burned you in the past, you have to, well, TRUST them. That's it. There's no way for them to become more trustworthy without your trying to trust them, even by baby steps. Trust is a sort of leap of faith in this regard. And that makes it scary.

Vicious cycle

Isn't this pile of flowers prettier than a pile of anger and other yucky stuff?

But it's scarier, I think, not to trust. Or to keep not trusting someone even after they've become trustworthy. Not trusting leads to micromanagement. And micromanagement leads to resentment. And resentment is the road to Hell, ladies and gentlemen. Plus, your lack of trust with one member of the team usually blends over into relationships with other team members. You start to assume the worst about the rest of your team, or neglect their legitimate needs in favor of supervising the untrusted.

At this point, all you have is a big honkin' pile of anger, resentment and other icky stuff that saps morale, creativity, decision-making, and, oh yeah, productivity. So all the stuff you need to be successful gets hamstrung at the very least by one person's inability to trust.

What price distrust?

We all struggle with this, of course. We labor under the false impression that hyper-vigilance will get us the results we want from those we don't trust. And sometimes it does, but at what cost? A lot of times, that cost is higher than the price of trusting and getting burned.

Just something for you to think about.