“It is the one quality that cannot be acquired, it must be earned.”
–Warren Bennis, on trust
You won’t find this in your new employee orientation guide or on a job description, but building trust with your leaders, peers and clients, is one of the most important missions of your job. Building trust is far more complex than telling people “trust me.” It requires a demonstration of consistent behavior and character, that, over time, enables others to have confidence in you.
Proving yourself to be trust-worthy demonstrates your leadership potential in any organization, and allows your team’s work to get done more quickly and efficiently. Here are five ways to intentionally build trust in the workplace:
1. Demonstrate integrity. Be a “person of your word.” Do what you say, say what you do. Whether it’s showing up for a meeting at the appointed hour, or agreeing to help someone in work overload, do it. This helps people build confidence in you.
2. Be transparent. People will always assess you based on your behavior. If you have to arrive late, leave early or otherwise disrupt the team’s work, tell them what’s going on. This helps others jump to good, rather than wrong, conclusions about you.
3. Treat others generously. Give praise when it’s due, be respectful, use “please” and “thank you”. Good manners and common courtesy go miles. This creates mutuality, and helps others want to support you.
4. Converse constructively. Focus on talk that is constructive, solutions-oriented and respectful. Say good things about people to others. This contributes to building a good reputation and creating an engaging and positive work environment.
5. Own it. Admit when you are wrong. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Take personal responsibility for your errors or omissions. Then determine what you can do to correct them. This demonstrates honesty and humility, essential components of trusting relationships.
Trust is a foundational piece of any successful business. It builds employee engagement, creates alignment with expectations, company mission and values. Make sure you are building a “trust-worthy” reputation by recognizing when you are wrong, acting with integrity, and demonstrating consistent authenticity with your co-workers, leaders and clients.
CALL TO ACTION: What is getting in the way of you enjoying your work? Let’s identify the blocks and outline a game plan to break through them. Schedule a Free 30-min Consult or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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