Loss of Trust – Words from One of My Most Respected Early Mentors

Years ago, Byron Campbell, then the Publisher of the LA Daily News, took a big chance by promoting me from the HR Director of a small sister newspaper to the VP of HR for the LA Daily News. I was one of the first women to be given the opportunity to represent a large LA newspaper in negotiating union contracts. I transferred from managing a team of two to building a team of thirteen. I was also the only female on an executive team of eight led by Byron. I had a lot to learn and, fortunately, my boss was a wonderful, kind, smart mentor!

One of most helpful words of advice I received from Byron was: “When the trust is gone, you need to end the relationship.” Of course, you always follow the appropriate legal and management guidelines for ending work relationships, but you find a way to reach a mutual agreement on ending it because you truly cannot function efficiently without the trust of members of your team, whether your team is your department or the executive team of the company. Of course, you first investigate to make sure that your loss of trust was not due to a correctable misunderstanding or other valid, correctable issue. If, indeed, the trust is broken and cannot be repaired, solutions include the options of a transfer, voluntary termination or involuntary termination with or without an agreement depending on the situation. As Byron told me so many years ago, “When trust is gone and cannot be regained, it is time to end the work relationship.”

Julia S. Aguilar