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When did you last repair someone’s trust?

When did you last repair someone’s trust?

Confidential coaching positions me to bear witness to a myriad of circumstances. Within that context, I am asked many questions. How to repair trust is one that is poignant.

When trust is bruised or “killed”, there can be a physical feeling of an open wound. We can empathize with some who was betrayed. If remorse sets in, the betrayer also can experience the “wound.”

There are a few ways one can attempt to build trust. Ultimately, we can never account for someone else’s behavior or thinking, just our own. We must not allow others to define who we are and what we stand for. 

Yes, everyone makes mistakes. The gift that will emerge for you is awareness, because you are making an honest effort.

So, what can we do to begin a healing process for broken trust:

  1. Show up with a sincere, contrite apology. Sometimes a written one is powerful so the recipient has time to process it. In few words, be specific about what you are apologizing for, i.e. did you hurt someone’s feelings, was there a misunderstanding, did you strike out at someone?
  2. Own it, and learn from the circumstance no matter how painful. Analyze what you did and how you can avoid such behavior in the future.
  3. Back off. Give the recipient time to absorb your apology. 
  4. In the meantime, do what you say you will do. Talk is cheap.
  5. Actions speak louder than words, so make an effort to support the recipient by being present for him or her.
  6.  Be consistent with your renewed outreach. Be who you say you are.

Ultimately, the apology was delivered. After that, it is up to the injured party to invite you back into their lives. You’ll know. -MC



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