I didn’t trust her because I didn’t trust her character.
But was that really the core of the matter? Is it possible that her choices had more to do with a lack of competence than a questionable character?
Could it be that my former boss lacked the competence to handle mistakes, so in moments of uncertainty and anxiety of her skill set, her survival instincts kicked in, and she lost sight of her values?
Looking back, I think that is a definite possibility.
There are two main components of trust--character and competence, and sometimes it is hard to differentiate between what is really the core of the matter.
When we lack competence, our behavior can unknowingly shift in a direction that may not reflect well on our character.
It happened with my former boss. It happens with me. It happens with you. And I guarantee it is happening with your current colleague.
If you are struggling with the behavior of a difficult colleague, take a closer look at what is going on beneath the surface.
- Could they be overcompensating because they lack the skills to do their job?
- Could they be stressed and unsure, and as a result trying to control the uncontrollable?
- Could they be disappointed and angry, and are taking that frustration out on you?
- Could they lack the confidence to be the leader their title shows, and have reverted to bragging and story telling, in order to maintain the facade?
If the true source of their difficult behavior is more to due to competence than character, you have a window of opportunity to turn things around for the better.
What is your best first step to finding out?