In today′s article I′d like to share with you my thoughts and what I consider being the most important principles to build, regain, and sustain trust:
Walk Your Talk. Mean what you say and keep your word. Deliver your committed tasks and duties on time and in full. Be consistent and reliable. Arrive promptly to meetings. If you might risk missing an agreed timeline, proactively communicate and explain it, apologize and come forward with a new proposal. Try not missing it a second time to protect your reputation.
Communicate Frequently And Openly. Direct, quick, accurate, and honest communication builds trust. Share regularly with others. This underlines that you have no hidden agenda. Address possible trust issues within a team in an open and prompt manner. In this context also crucial to develop and possess good active listening skills.
Tell The Truth And Take A Stand. Be honest and don′t lie. This is not as easy as it might sound. Of course, we wouldn′t admit it, would we? Anyway, it′s key not leaving out relevant facts, figures, and opinions when discussing and arguing. Even, and especially, when it′s awkward and painful. People will appreciate it. Also be willing to say no. You can′t be everything to everyone. Taking a stand based on sound arguments - well and politely articulated - will earn you respect and trust.
Show People That You Care About Them. Be out for others and not primarily for yourself. Appreciate all people you′re dealing with. Show sensitivity to their interests, wishes, and needs. Value them and thank them. Do it from the heart.
Empower Others. Show people that you trust them. Have faith in others skills and capabilities. Be willing to let go and to share power. "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them" (E. Hemingway).
Focus On The Positives. Don′t punish mistakes. As they can happen think and speak about them in a results-oriented and forward-looking way. Jointly look with others for solutions and implement actions to avoid that they′ll happen again.
Follow High Ethical Standards. Do the right things. Even, and especially, when it might be hard. People will like, respect, and trust your integrity.
Admit Mistakes And Weaknesses. Fortunately, you′re only human. So, when you don’t do the right thing, admit it. Be transparent, authentic and willing to talk about your mistakes and faults in a constructive manner. When you are vulnerable and have nothing to hide you radiate trust. That′s what people love.
Establish Long Term Relationships. Trust is usually not the result of short term actions and profits. It′s stemming from deeper values, ethics, and fundamental principles. Take your time and don′t rush. Be willing to let trust evolve and flourish. The best trust fertilizer is to "give without any strings attached.“ Don′t expect always something in return.