Book Review! Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace

rebuilding trust

“Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace – Seven Steps to Renew Confidence, Commitment, and Energy”

Patricia Santangelo reviews: “Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace – Seven Steps to Renew Confidence, Commitment, and Energy” by Dennis and Michelle Reina

Trust is a very large issue that frequently is not given enough attention within organizations. Reality is that when there is a lack of trust between co-workers, or within a team, business unit or organization, the consequence tends to be lack of engagement and initiative, loss of talent, low productivity, etc. This can only translate into lower business results than would be achieved if the opposite were true. If we can work within our teams to develop a level of trust that allows each person to feel supported and valued, that is when we eliminate the barriers that prevent innovation and initiative. People feel energized and empowered to do their best. Then the organization will be able to achieve greater levels of business success.

“…when you feel betrayed, you lose the confidence, commitment, and energy that keep relationships together,

fuel your performance and feed your satisfaction at work.”

In their book “Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace – Seven Steps to Renew Confidence, Commitment, and Energy” Dennis and Michelle Reina walk you through the steps one needs to follow in order to move through the cycle that will enable the rebuilding of trust. Although the seven steps of healing are not new, the authors look at them from the perspective of the workplace. The situations they use to provide context to each step ring very true. How many times have we faced situations where we have felt betrayed by our boss or a co-worker? The levels of betrayal can be as minimal as a missed deadline that made us have to spend more time to complete our own work or go as deep as realizing that someone took credit for something you did without even acknowledging you had a part in its development.

“Critical to the health of human relationships is how effectively we deal with and

 work through betrayal when it happens.”

What frequently happens is that the injured party just lets the situation fester inside and the relationship is permanently damaged with consequences not only for both individuals, but for the teams they work in as well.  Don’t ever think that if you don’t talk about it people won’t notice that your interactions with a team member have changed. They do, and if you don’t make the effort to work on the situation from a “healthy” perspective, they will draw their own conclusions as to the reasons behind it. People can be very creative in what they think might be the underlying cause of what they perceive as a disagreement. Do you really want to leave it up to their imagination or do you want to take a mature step towards healing the relationship and, in the meantime, offer the team a safe space to talk about what is going on?

“What may have started with your personal work or efforts to heal one relationship

can transform your whole team into a group of people who want to work together,

to grow together, to achieve and perform together.”

That is what Dennis and Michelle Reina offer with their book. A tool that helps you think about what you are experiencing and guides you through the steps you need to follow in order to heal and rebuild trust. They also make you reflect on your own role in the process. Our initial reaction tends to be to blame the other person for the betrayal. The authors make you think through the situation, look at it from different perspectives and open yourself to admit your own role in making it happen.

If you are honest with yourself when someone has breached your trust,

 you will often find that you also betrayed that person or yourself.”

While the book can be used as a personal tool to work on your own feelings when you feel betrayed, it also provides insight as to how you can help others work through these issues in the workplace.  With dialogue examples and suggestions of what to say when you seek help or what to do when offering help, this is a great guide towards making a difference, both for ourselves and for those around us. Helping others does require that we first experience the “transformation that rebuilding trust brings”. In that way we will be in a position of maturity that enables us to act as a coach to others.


Patricia Santangelo

Patricia Santangelo

HR Professional at My HR Post
With a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Public Relations, Masters in Business Administration, Senior Professional in Human Resources and Human Capital Specialist Certifications, Patricia Santangelo is an experienced Human Resources professional with over 20 years of international experience in all areas of the function. Her passion is to work with organizations to transform them into a workplace where employees are engaged and committed and feel rewarded and fulfilled, thus driving business results. Patricia has extensive experience in managing the integration process during mergers and acquisitions with focus on how to handle the communication process to minimize disruption and ensure the success of the endeavor. Her eBook “The Human Side of Mergers and Acquisitions” is available on Amazon. In this mini how-to eBook, she shares the process for planning and managing these initial communications. Specialties: Merger and Acquisition Integration, Employee Engagement, Talent Management, Organizational Development, Coaching, Learning and Development.
Patricia Santangelo


#HR Professional - employee engagement, performance, and retention. Extensive international change management and #M&A.
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Patricia Santangelo
Patricia Santangelo

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