Friday, September 12, 2008

8 ways in winning back TRUST

 I was cleaning up my mails and came across this email from one of Kenny’s colleagues.

This made me and Ken realize things about our little arguments.

Trust, to me, is a simple matter. It boils down to a pure essence, one that smells nothing like a rat. Trust is being where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be, doing what you said you would do. In that respect, trust is just a series of repeat visits that coincide with the expectations of the truster, such that the truster doesn’t have to be breathing down the other guy’s neck eight days a week.

Trust is difficult to gain, but much more easily lost and almost impossible to win back. It can be lost through no fault of your own, such as by miscommunication or by bad timing. Another way to lose it is by getting sloppy and letting the quality of your work slide. Then there’s losing trust by intentional deceit, like when Whitey Bulger informed the Feds that Howie Winter was fixing horse races. Imagine Mr. Winter trying to forgive and forget after 10 years in the clink.

A breach of trust is so difficult to forgive because trust is so vital to daily operations, and lifelong partnerships rely on it. But winning back trust is possible with the following methods.

1. Act early
Once you realize that you have betrayed someone’s trust, tell the person yourself before someone else does. Put your hat in your hand, step onto the carpet and pipe up. Put some sugar on it and act humble. If the person you betrayed gets angry takes the tirade with style and make it known that you are taking off the cloak and dagger out of loyalty. In other words, grovel with dignity.

2. Be persistent
At first, you will probably be rebuffed by the person you let down. Even if someone says, “You’re dead to me now,” don’t give up right away. If you grew up Catholic like everyone in my neighborhood did, you’ll be feeling plenty guilty about your sins. Put that guilt to work by acting penitent. Don’t let the last word be spoken in the heat of the moment. Go away for a while, and then come back once the initial anger has worn down — the edge will be smoother a few days later. Look at all these cafone celebrities, for example. They make asses of themselves, then a week later, I see them smiling on the morning news while I’m trying to enjoy my coffee.

If you want to work in this town again, own up to your mistake…

3. Don’t make excuses
This is especially important when the problem arose from something beyond your control. Most people have to gamble at times and operate in what my banker calls “the float.” The float is when your account doesn’t quite have the money you need just yet, but a check is in the mail, and you go ahead and make another deal as if you were solvent. You lie because business sometimes requires it.

The same thing happens with deliveries and timing. Let’s say the bagman arrives much too late with the dough. In the interim, you have to cover the vacuum of missing money using your mouth. Promise confidently to fulfill your original promise. Deals fall through from time to time — it’s a part of life — but when you have to tell someone that you lied, at least do it with clarity and dignity.

4. Learn from your mistakes
One reason Al Capone lasted as long as he did is that he surrounded himself with ironclad people who understood the meaning of omerta. If you are cast out to the east of your Eden , don’t plunge into self-reflection; rather, learn from your mistake. Let your pride down for a moment so that the lesson gets tattooed in your brain.

Parents tell their kids to learn from others’ mistakes, not from their own. But anyone who has lived beyond the age of 40 can assure you of one thing: Mistakes will be made no matter what your intentions, just like history will repeat itself. Therefore, knowing that life will never be perfect, you should swallow the lesson of what it feels like to lose someone’s trust and don’t do it again.

5. Change your behavior
The person you betrayed has no compelling reason to believe your plea unless you show that you have changed. If the problem started because you weren’t paying attention to detail, then become a stickler. Perhaps you were spending more time chasing the girls around the maypole than working, so get back on the bricks every day until your feet hurt.

After a certain age, it becomes difficult to change, but a dire situation requires a new way of thinking. Plenty of guys have checked into Alcoholics Anonymous because they have lost trust. If booze or drugs are the stumbling blocks impeding your progress, figure out how to get out of that cycle.

6. Fix the process
Policies, traditions and routines are often flawed and prone to failure. If the system you are working in doesn’t have the harmony of the planets, take measures to rectify the irregular parts of your business. Make suggestions to your boss about how to avoid having the same thing happen again. Sometimes it’s only one trucker who is late; sometimes it’s the whole trucking company. Cut the contract, trim the fat or do whatever you must to restore confidence in your end of the business. Rather than passing the buck and finding a cause for your misfortune, rethink the process so that it doesn’t happen again.

Start climbing that ladder back up to the top…

7. Start climbing again
Keep your nose to the grindstone and your feet moving. Falling down a few ranks doesn’t have to break your mind. A demotion is not the end of the world unless you want to roll over, but that’s what goomahs are for. Wake up in the morning and start setting the world on fire — but not like Frank Notarantonio did.

8. Get back up there
Regardless of how much remorse you feel or how willing you are to change, once people know about your temporary downfall, you will endure a period of sneers and jeers. So be it. In life, you might wash 10,000 windows, but people will only remember the one that you fell through. Self-doubt may eat at you, but if you work hard to prove yourself, the wisecracks will eventually stop. The betrayal will be forgotten by those knuckleheads, and the person you betrayed will begin to notice that you aren’t such a deadbeat after all.