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I have been working in a team and I lost my reputation by -

  • Overcommitting and underperforming on tasks
  • Missing deadlines
  • Coming in late to the office
  • Spending my time talking with colleagues, rather than working
  • Staying past time in the office, without using the time to improve/complete things

I was unaware of the effect this had on the team in a short period of time (two months). I now realise my mistakes and need to turn things around.

What steps should I take to start rebuilding the bridges with the team and give them a reason to start trusting me?

migrated from productivity.stackexchange.com Mar 11 '17 at 22:36

  • Better suited for Workplace.SE. – Gruber Mar 11 '17 at 16:26
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    You didn't have knowledge that you were overcommitting and underperforming, missing a deadline, coming late to the office and so on? Or you didn't have knowledge that this would be seen as a negative? Are you still working in that team? – gnasher729 Mar 12 '17 at 7:22
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You use the term confidence, but maybe you should call it trust.
Because this whole issue is not about getting something for yourself, it is about how people perceive you.

It's simple. Don't do any of these again. Just maintain your integrity from now on:

  • Do what you said you'd do
  • Keep your agreements

If for whatever reason you break an agreement then get into communication as early as possible, e.g. at the moment you know you are going to be late, say that you are not going to make it, apologize, make a new promise and keep it.

Note that I did not write can't do this. That's putting responsibility outside of yourself or blaming others*. The first place to look at is: can I do this differently next time so that it won't happen again.

Losing trust is easy, regaining it takes time. You can't claim it, you can't expect it. It is up to you to show that you are someone people can rely on.

It's like filling a bank account: you accumulate credit with others. We all know these people that we can rely on - if they occasionally make mistakes and take responsibility for them you don't hold it against them. It's only when people keep breaking their promises that we lose confidence in them. Very often, they will then lose confidence in themselves.

* Your phrase this happened without my knowledge is an example of not taking responsibility. It's BS. You were the one not keeping your promises and you knew it.

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I'll assume that your manager complained about your work, saying that you are overcommitting and underperforming, that you miss deadlines, that you arrive late and spend your time talking to colleagues, and that you overstay in your office. If that's a case, that's something you need to change not just to "gain confidence and build trust", but to keep your job.

The way to do this: If your manager is reasonable, then don't arrive late ever, unless you have a very good reason for it, and in that case, tell your manager the reason. If your manager is unreasonable, then don't arrive late ever. Don't involve your colleagues in conversations in a way that keeps you from doing your work, or worse, that keeps them from doing your work.

The complaint about "overstaying in the office" is interesting. If the company doesn't want anyone overstaying in the office, then don't do it. The complaint may actually be that you are not doing your job, and then you try to pretend being a hard worker by overstaying and not doing any actual work. Some people would really hate that. Check out whether you are not supposed to overstay without working, our whether you are not to overstay at all. And then you either leave in time every day, or you stay and work.

The last and worst are "overcommitting and underperforming", and "missing deadlines". Your manager may have two impressions: One, that you don't do the amount of work every week that you are supposed to do. That's something you need to change. Two, that you make promises that you don't keep. To that, the solution is to not make promises. If your manager says "can you do this in two weeks", then there are two possibilities: Either you are 100% sure you can do it, you say yes, and you do it. Or you are not sure you can do it, then you tell your manager. It's much better (for your manager, and for you), to say you can't do it, than to make promises that you cannot keep. And that's his complaint, that you don't keep your promises.

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