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Trust in Interpersonal Relationships

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Trust in Interpersonal Relationships MGT/521 - Management March 17, 2011 Trust in Interpersonal Relationships
Trust is an important aspect in most people’s lives whether it is trusting that a neighbor will not steal the newspaper, that coworkers will be honest in sharing information for an upcoming meeting, or trusting that a spouse will remain faithful. Most interpersonal trust starts as assumed and evolves into needing to be earned. According to Lewicki and Tomlinson (2003), trust builds along a continuum and as a person’s “ability, integrity, and benevolence” are evaluated, the level of trust in a person or persons can change. Groups that lose trust in each other lose the cohesive ability to tackle the issues or tasks at hand. How to develop and keep trust among team members is a problem that many organizations face.
Interpersonal interactions begin with assumed trust between individuals. This basic trust is a cautious one that is quickly put to the test. In a team setting, the majority of people begin their interactions with team members by assuming that everyone will perform to the best of their ability to aid in the group’s success. If a person determines that their fellow group members have proven their trustworthiness, the level of trust deepens because it has been earned.
Just as there are varying levels of trust earned, there are also different levels of trust betrayal. Minor offenses may result in the “victim” withholding information or support to the offender in the future so as not to be “taken in” again by deceit. In the middle of the spectrum, the victim may play a passive-aggressive role by superficially cooperating with the team member but not giving his or her full support or attention. As the severity of the offense grows, the perceived betrayal can lead to escalating conflict and the possibility of ending the

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