No one can deny that building trust at work is of utmost importance. It affects how your team works to deliver business outcomes and business sustainability. Let us first start by understanding the two basic types of trust in the workplace.
This type of trust can be earned by being a steadfast worker; you meet commitments, show up on time, and do what you say you’ll do. People rely on your competence and dependability. They trust you to get the job done. This trust is fundamental. If you don’t have it, your team is probably already facing major problems such as lack of communication, knowledge hoarding, micro-management, duplication of work, missed deadlines, and declining productivity.
This is the next level type of trust. It’s when people trust that you’re on their side. They know you’ll treat them kindly and respectfully, that you won’t judge them for their setbacks, and they’re comfortable telling you their honest thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This type of trust is, obviously, far more complex. It goes beyond hard work and respecting other people’s time; it requires a certain level of emotional intelligence. The good news is, even if you don’t think you have this as an innate skill, it can be learnt.
As we mentioned, building trust in an organization is easier said than done. Even though you may not always be able to control the level of trust in your organization as a whole, but you can act in ways that promote one in your immediate work environment. Let us now look at five easy tips that you can get going right away.
1. Speak the truth
This one is fundamental. It seems incredibly obvious but is surprisingly easy to lapse from.
2. Admit when you don’t know something
If you don’t know the answer or you don’t remember the solution, just say so. Not only will this allow you to learn and grow, but you won’t be considered a fake who is wasting your team's time with lies.
3. If you say you’ll do it, do it
If you cancel at the last minute, fail to show up, or miss a deadline, people will instantly wonder if you’ll do it again. You’ve planted that seed. If you make a habit of it, then people will learn that this is your normal behavior and will instinctively not trust you to follow through with commitments.
4. If you’re meant to do it, do it
This means if you’re meant to do something as part of your role at work, do it. Don’t let it slip onto someone else’s plate or try to get away with not doing it. Not only does this frustrate people, but it also suggests you’re not fully committed. People won’t trust that you can (or will) do your job.
5. Explain your thought process
If you’re transparent—if you communicate your intentions and reasons for doing something—you’re giving people a window into who you are. You’re giving them a basis to trust what you do because they can understand why you’re doing it.
In conclusion, trust is built through consistent communication and performing the right actions. The fact is we need to build people and people will build the business.