How to trust coworkers in a competitive work environment

August 28, 2013


Trusting coworkers when you’re all competing

Trusting friends is different that learning to trust your co-workers. As friends, our goal is to keep the friendship. If the relationship is important to us, then we tend to extend trust and be trustworthy. In the workplace, however, it is easy to forget our common goals in exchange for individual success, and this causes much distrust among co-workers.

The best way to learn to trust your co-workers is to focus on your own qualities, because trusting is a reaction. Make yourself a better person by being the person you want to see in your co-workers. Be their model, and you will find yourself in better company.

3 ways to trust others around you

  1. It is human nature to want to get ahead, to want to get noticed, and to want to win, but success at the expense of your integrity just is not success at all. Deliver on your promises. Keep your word. Support others, and be positive. This is true success, and true success will eventually deliver recognition.
  2. Remember that all of you are working toward the same goal. Every person in the office is an important player. True character is measured by how you treat the person who can do nothing for you. A person of character is one who can be trusted not just by the people who pay him or promote him but by all, and trust is reciprocal; people rarely extend true trust to someone without offering the same trustworthiness of themselves.
  3. Essentially, live the golden rule. Treating people that way you want to be treated means trusting the way you want to be trusted. Remember that actions speak louder than words. Don’t just preach trust, extend it, model it, and embrace it. You cannot change others’ actions, but you can change their reactions to you, and giving respect is the best way to get it.

Whether in a corporation or a team of three, it is often an unspoken virtue that there is competition between all coworkers, which can be a stumbling block for trust, but by adopting the three tips above, a team can be strengthened overnight.

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Kristyl Barron holds a BA in English Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MHR in Counseling/Organizational Management from the University of Oklahoma. Barron has been writing professionally since 2008, and projects include a memoir entitled Give Your Brother Back His Barbie and an in progress motivational book called Aspies Among Us.

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