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First impressions to lasting relationships

Image by Jaspal Kahlon.
Carefree trust while being vulnerable



In every professional journey, building trust is critical. Trust can either stabilize or destabilize our career paths. For me, it’s not just about career paths; relationships matter more.

I am speaking strictly from my personal experience of building relationships with colleagues.


Trust is a cumulative and volatile process. It builds up but can quickly collapse, akin to water in a fountain relying on a motor to push it high above the ground. If the motor stops, the water fails to rise. First impressions, ongoing interactions, and the resolution of misunderstandings all contribute to building trust.


My experiences across various organizations have taught me that initial decisions can significantly impact team dynamics. This is critical since we spend the majority of our waking hours working away from our families.


During my career, I have seen tensions linked to personal perceptions of capability, authority, and security run high. These misunderstandings often lead to a sense of mistrust or alienation. Hardly anyone views change as an opportunity; instead, they feel insecure or overlooked.


Sometimes, I may complicate things for my colleagues by being too open, yet using indirect or metaphorical references, which can add to their stress. Direct communication is helpful when intentions are clear between individuals.


However, without a baseline of trust, even direct communication can do more harm than good. Being transparent about your intentions and open to feedback can mitigate many potential conflicts.


But if time is not a constraint, this approach works best. I can count on one hand the people with whom I have built strong relationships; they number no more than seven to date.

Over time, relationships do evolve, but the connection from the past remains and instantly refreshes when we meet again.


I recall a colleague with whom my initial interactions were strictly professional and somewhat strained due to early misunderstandings. However, as we continued to work together, not together but in parallel roles, situations arose that brought us back to talking terms.


As usual, the first move was not from my side. Personal judgment plays a significant role in how we perceive and react to others. It’s a trait that helps us navigate the complexities of a capitalist world.


For me, life and work are seamless. The routine of being at the same place every day is mundane, but collaborating with others often turns it into a pleasant experience. I often say, “Earning a livelihood is not merely about fun; it’s about using your brains, not just your heart.”


Trust is synonymous with transparency for me. When trust is present, the need for control is replaced by belief in others’ capabilities. It’s about letting the other person express themselves. Be a good listener. Speak and share what you feel.


I love being an enabler and am rewarded with love and respect in return. This journey of trust is an ongoing effort and one that requires consistent nurturing and understanding.

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