It’s lonely at the top!
Especially for women working in male dominated environments. So why is it so difficult for women to reach out to each other?
There are many explanations – just google ‘women competing at work’ and you’ll get 32 million hits!
One of the reasons I frequently hear, is lack of trust – and it’s not just an issue for women.
When teams fail to function properly, the default reason is ‘lack of trust’.
What is inferred (although rarely explicitly articulated) is:
‘I don’t trust my colleagues to be as
- Non judgemental
Therefore ‘I don’t/won’t
- ‘communicate openly or honestly’
- ‘ask for help’
- ‘ask a question’
- ‘seek a second opinion’
- ‘socialise with them’.
And therefore, ‘I…
- ‘Do more work than necessary’
- ‘Spend time and energy reinventing the wheel’
- ‘Feel stressed, isolated, doubtful’
- ‘Second guess myself’
- ‘Avoid feeling vulnerable and the risk of rejection.’
The consequence of this is inevitably:
- The team performs sub-optimally;
- People don’t contribute fully;
- Staff witness dysfunction and turf wars;
- The organisation does not harness the full value of its employee capital;
- People feel isolated, less connected and lonely;
- We short change ourselves, each other and the organisation we work for.
You won’t like everyone you work with, but it saves time, loneliness and despair to assume your colleagues are well intentioned, doing their best and probably feeling as unsure of themselves as you are.
So don’t waste time and energy waiting for someone to ‘earn your trust’. Just grant it.