Trust…what is trust? Merriam-Webster defines it as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or trust of someone or something”. What do you do when the trust you had has been violated? There are a range of emotions you may experience from anger to sadness to helplessness. You begin to question what could you have done to prevent this or even why did this happen to me. You want revenge. You want the other person to suffer and feel what you feel as a result of the betrayal. It’s during this moment that you have to make the decision to let this hinder and derail you or propel you to process it and rise up as a leader.
I have experienced this most recently in which my trust was violated in my own home. The moment I realized what had taken place, it was like a gut punch that took my breath away. I could not believe it and I could feel the anger and rage and then the tears welling up in my eyes. I began to cry and wail, not wanting to believe that someone who I trusted and allowed to be in my home and with my family could steal from me. In my emotional state, I could have made the decision to make this person’s life miserable and seek the revenge I so desperately wanted. Instead I chose to work through my emotions and allowed things to play out that in the end worked out in my favor.
But betrayal does not just happen in our personal lives, they can happen in our professional lives too. When that happens, how do you handle it? What feelings and emotions do you experience? Do you process it the same as a personal betrayal?
Consider this scenario. You and your manager have a very good working relationship. She looks to you for your leadership and gives you additional responsibilities when possible. You trust her and she trusts you. Let’s say you informally worked on a process that could make your department run more efficiently. After weeks of preparation, you are now ready to present it to your manager. Excited that this project may be the catalyst that gives you the recognition you are seeking, you enter the meeting with a positive outlook. You present the project to your manager and she loves it. She wants to present it to upper management for approval and asks that you be there. The day comes and you are prepared for the presentation but to your surprise your manager is now presenting it as her own idea.
What is going through your mind at that moment? How could she? I thought she would have given me the recognition and credit that I so rightly deserved!! Did she really do what I think she did?? And so much more…
What do you do now? Do you confront her or let your anger fester? Do you vow to never share anything with her again for fear that she will claim it as her own? This is where you show those leadership skills and decide to have a conversation with your manager. It is your opportunity to express your feelings in such a way that she receives and understand how you feel. There are three points to remember:
Leadership is not a place but an action. As John Maxwell says, “As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person that I should try to change is me.”. It starts with you!
With over 15 years of leadership experience in various organizations and professionally, Coach "T" has been sought out all over the country for her leadership expertise. And through her own life experiences, she applies them to her life coaching strategies and techniques. Coach "T" is authentic and encouraging, yet thought provoking.