Building employee trust is hard. And yet people work harder if they trust the boss. It’s only logical, right?
Even if you have successfully established trust within your team, there is no guarantee that everyone trusts you equally. Employees are looking for trusted relationships, but how does one actually build that?
Below I’ve listed 14 ways to build trust. This is not a one-shot deal. It is a process and if you consistently act as outlined here, trust will be inevitable. Let me warn you, though, it’s not necessarily easy to sustain. But why would you not challenge yourself to be better in some of these areas?
1) Walk the Talk
When you commit to something, people will believe you and expect you to follow through. Don’t let them down, but actually walk the talk. Do as you promise. If you recognize you can’t for some reason, renegotiate commitments as necessary. And deﬁnitely don’t promise if you know you won’t be able to deliver.
2) Communicate Effectively
Be clear on what you are and are not committing to. Learn reﬂective listening skills to make sure everyone is on the same page before departing a conversation.
3) Recognize That It Takes Time
Building trust is a daily exercise. Stay consistent in being and communicating who you are. Don’t expect too much too soon.
4) Think Before You Act
Don’t agree to something that you don’t really want to. Make sure you are clear on what it will take to keep the commitment. It is better to say no than to agree to something and then not follow through.
5) Don’t Take Others for Granted
Make sure you value people’s contribution and don’t neglect them. You don’t want to be taken for granted either, correct?
6) Maintain Existing Relationships
It is easier to nourish current relationships than to build new ones. The established ones need nurturing. How often do people hear from you? Are you giving them your full attention when you are connecting? Do you only reach out when you need something from them? You might want to check out this article about being proactive.
7) Contribute to the Team
Demonstrate your willingness to trust others. If you trust them, they are more likely to reciprocate. Be willing to reach out ﬁrst.
8) Be Honest
As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy. If you are dishonest, people will automatically conclude that you will lie about anything and repeatedly. If you have been dishonest, admit your mistake and apologize. It is the right thing to do.
9) Be of Service
Reach out and help others whenever you can. We all have our challenges and could use a helping hand every once in a while. Don’t wait until people ask for help. Simply offer your assistance.
10) Be Honest with Your Emotions
Show you are vulnerable and that you care. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of humanity. We are all humans and we have feelings that get hurt from time to time. Empathy goes both ways.
11) Recognize Others
If you appreciate the efforts and accomplishments of others, they will go the extra mile for you. “Thank you for your contribution that allowed us to …” will make your employee beam with pride and she will work extra hard to do it again. Be generous with your acknowledgements, not only at annual review times but every day. Who can you genuinely acknowledge today?
12) Do What You Believe Is Right
Be clear on what you value and what your company values. Live those values and use them as a guidepost when deciding the right thing to do. Don’t act on what others want to hear, but on what you think is right. This way, even when others disagree with you, they respect your honesty and integrity.
13) Admit Your Mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes. Hiding them is dishonest. Admit to them and apologize as needed. Once the apology is accepted, you can ask for permission to close a subject and move on.
14) Treat Others as Partners
We are all good at some things and not so good at others. Therefore, don’t treat others as superiors or inferiors. Treat them as equals who are also trying to ﬁgure out how things work.
Bottom line, be a trustworthy person, with honesty and integrity.
Which one or two insights can you put into practice?
Building trust starts with being trustworthy.
If you are committing to improving with an insight, can I trust you to implement it?
If you need someone to hold you accountable, send me an email simply stating which one you will work on and I’ll be your accountability partner. No fees apply!