I have had numerous conversations with colleagues through the years and TRUST comes up directly or indirectly quite often. Most people naturally want to trust a colleague and/or a leader and will when its either earned or freely given by those who naturally trust others. I believe most people naturally want to trust others!
When people have repeatedly placed themselves “out there” sharing work related or personal stuff with others (difficult to separate the two), people generally want to believe the information will be kept confidential or not used against them in some way. When it is used inappropriately or negatively, the sharing will obviously stop! Does this mean we stop putting ourselves out there? I would say no! However, I would use restraint sharing personal opinions or private information with someone I can’t seem to trust. At least until the trust issue is resolved or regained over time.
As far as leaders are concerned, continuous support must be provided at all times. Leaders must be consistent and work to earn and maintain trust with all members of the organization. Since only one slip up can cause mistrust, consistent behavior from the leader is one key for success.
If a member of the team loses the trust of a colleague, I would recommend letting them know how you feel. It is far better for you personally as well as the organization to get things out in the open than let fester over time. If not shared, the relationship will probably get worse causing more friction and less production. Always remember the culture of the organization is critical to its success! Be open and honest even when its uncomfortable and believe me it will be uncomfortable. Chances are the relationship will be strengthened because of your honesty and sharing your feelings with them. A mediator is also not a bad idea if needed depending on the status of the relationship.
Always cultivate relationships with others! Also know when we have those trying times when disagreements occur, a strong working relationship will help weather any and all storms.