Trust is a gift.
With the gift of trust comes great responsibility.
When that gift is used to manipulate, to take advantage, the feeling of betrayal is deep.
Betrayal of trust is at the core of so much anguish, fear, anger, disappointment, and discouragement.
It is a wound that requires deliberate corrective action over time to heal.
“You can’t talk yourself out of a problem you behaved your way into.” — Stephen R. Covey
The emotions behind many of the allegations of sexual harassment are feelings of betrayal by someone with greater power and influence, someone who was trusted as a boss, a colleague, a friend.
When trust is violated — intentionally or unintentionally — an apology written by an attorney, a public relations advisor, or an agent won’t cut it. It must be clear, concise, direct, and sincere. It must come from you and delivered in your own voice: “I did it. I regret it. I won’t do it again.”
An apology doesn’t earn forgiveness. It simply is the first, necessary step to begin the work of earning forgiveness.
Earning forgiveness takes time. It requires a pattern of behavior over an extended period that shows others that the apology was real.
If someone can consistently demonstrate trustworthy behavior, after forgiveness, the gift of trust may be given again. Maybe. No guarantees, but if you are truly sorry, do it anyway. It’s worth it.
Be a High-Trust Leader: Be grateful for the gift of trust given to you. Protect and nurture it as a highly prized possession.