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Trust us: Readers speak up

When it comes to trust in the workplace, we heard from more than a few people who felt it was something that needed improvement.

Jen Weigel

Lessons for life

April 15, 2011

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Readers had some strong opinions about our column regarding how to rebuild trust in the workplace. Here were some of the comments through e-mail and on Facebook.

"I have a boss that rules with an iron first," wrote Michelle. "I just don't get it and I feel the work environment is toxic because of it. I wanted to forward your column to him, but then I was worried he'd yell at me for not being a team player."

"Trust is not the issue, Jenniffer," wrote Mark. "It's how people work with each other. Three choices: aggressive-defensive, passive-defensive or high-performing organization. What's your choice?"

"I watched you on WGN talking about your trust at work column," wrote Cathy. "I was really struck by your comment about forgiving yourself and others before you can move on. I didn't realize that I was one of those bitter people who will hold on to a grudge until you brought it up. … Thanks for the wake-up call."

"I have a small business and I really appreciated your column about rebuilding trust at work," said Selena. "Nobody is perfect, not even the boss. If we admit to making mistakes every once in a while, we can have a team that communicates better."

"I think all these steps sound like a bad Oprah episode," wrote Mike. "I don't have time to hold my employees' hands through a crisis and I don't want to re-hash what happened. If they can't take the heat, get out of the office."

"One of my co-workers gossips about everyone," said Lisa. "I try to avoid her but we have a really small office. I was going to complain about her but she's incredibly close to the boss, so I'm stuck. I wonder if your experts have any advice about that?"

"I care about my employees but I don't really want to become their shrink," said James. "If you lead by example, treating others with respect and setting the bar high for success, there won't be time for breaches of trust."

"I printed up your column and handed it out to my office," wrote Liz. "Our office environment is competitive and toxic. I'm not sure if that's because everyone's afraid of losing their jobs, or because we haven't made some people accountable for their actions. If we could make it safe to talk about these things, it would be so much easier to come to work every day."

"Are these experts available to come to my house?" asked Jon. "I've got some serious trust issues with my family. Much more so than with my co-workers. Maybe their steps will work on that issue too."

jweigel@tribune.com