Nothing is more important to you, than the perception people have of you as someone worthy of trust. When you have their trust, the people who work for you will work harder, be more productive and committed, take direction, receive coaching and remain loyal in hard times.
What does it take to build trust ?
1. Be unconditionally honest
Be unconditionally honest but also sensitive. Use the sandwich technique : good news, bad news, good news. Choose the right words to convey the truth, and be sure to communicate openly and clearly. Poor communication is often the culprit behind distrust.
2. Be credible
To maintain your credibility, speak confidently about what you know and avoid speaking confidently about what you don’t know. The higher you go in an organization, the less likely it is that you will know as much as the real experts working for you. Calling upon the experts is a sign of genuiune wisdom and it shows that you are worthy of trust. This is because you won’t pretend to know something when you don’t know.
3. Keep your commitments
People who are or have been managers have a greater need for professionalism, teamwork and collaboration from those they work with. They value from their boss the sorts of things you value in them : commitment, loyalty, professionalism and cooperation.
4. Own up to your mistakes
If you are right all the time and if you have all the best ideas, then you will stifle innovation, idea generation and problem solving. If, on the other hand, you show a genuine willingness to explore ideas, to encourage innovation, and to listen to and accept the best that others have to offer, then you can create a vibrant team of people who love their work and will be encouraged to give more of what they have to offer.
5. Care about people
6. Be available for people when they need you.
7. Be in the moment with people when they are distressed.
8. Don’t avoid dealing with people’s personal issues.
9. Respect people’s work
You show respect for people’s work when you leave them alone to do their work and don’t interfere unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.
10. Give credit when credit is due
11. Keep others’ best interests in mind
Don’t give yourself more than your fair share of rewards and benefits. The people who work for you will know how much you have contributed and how central you are to the business. If you take more than what they perceive to be your share of the rewards, they will resent it and will eventually resent you.
12. Go the extra mile
13. Back people up
Find out the reason if something went wrong. Especially if your team has been accused of wrong doings (when they are right) and you fail to back them up at important times, the people working for you will not excuse you for this type of behaviour. It will destroy trust faster than anything else other than outright lying and dishonesty.
14. Show good judgement
Everyone’s individual differences must matter to you and you can’t be so busy that you don’t attend to those differences. People will find you worthy of trust if they know that you are sensitive to their individual differences and respect those differences in how you behave towards them.
15. Be a good person
You don’t have to be a warm and fuzzy person to succeed in business. However if you want people to trust you, you have to be viewed as a good person.
16. Be fair
Good people are fair. They treat others with equanimity and respect. They don’t joke about people or belittle them behind their backs or engage in destructive gossip. If you are arrogant, mean, petty, abrasive or caustic, and if you show little positive regard for other people through your behaviour, jokes, comments, or attitude, people will find you untrustworthy. They may still work with you, but they will be guarded and suspicious.
17. Maintain confidences
18. Be genuine
19. Allow your humanity to show
We all make mistakes. We have problems in our personal lives. We get indigestion. When you disclose your foibles, admit your mistakes, and laugh at yourself for being so stupid about something, you show your humanity (and show a huge amount of self-confidence). Moreover, you reveal a side of yourself that others may find endearing because it reminds them of their own humanity. And that’s a wonderful way to build trust.