Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Building trust, part of Motivating and Engaging Employees.
- Trust is one of the most fundamental building blocks of solid relationships and productive teams. Trust is the willingness to be vulnerable to someone else. It's a feeling that others will show you good will and treat you fairly. For example, you might wanna share with someone a very personal thought. You might discuss a problem the two of you are facing at work. Or, maybe you need to ask for help in a way you never have before. All of these scenarios present risk. The risk they might judge you. The risk they won't agree with you. The risk that they don't value you enough to be kind and helpful.
Because we commonly perceive so many risks we often choose not to engage certain conversations and behaviors. Because we lack trust. As a result, relationships can become weak. Productivity suffers. And innovation is largely absent. People won't have the tough conversations and won't chase improvement opportunities unless they believe that someone has their back. They have to trust the people around them. With that in mind, here are three important ways you can increase how much others trust you.
First, always act with character and integrity. Never underestimate how closely others are watching your behaviours and listening to your words and then making judgements about your character. Unfortunately, professional life is full of gray area. The gray area is a time when you have to make a decision. But knowing right from wrong isn't as easy as you wish it were. Things aren't black and white, really, they're more gray. It's times just like these that reveal the strenght of your character and integrity.
Let me help you begin assessing where you are. I want you to take a few minutes and write down your personal and professional values. What is it you truly value? Struggle with that short list until you have confidence. And then, use the list as a reference point when making decisions. Clarity values indecisions that match those values. That's the backbone of integrity, and it makes people feel comfortable putting their trust in you. Next, strive to make what you say and what you do as consistent as possible.
Stated differently, you have to walk the talk. People will believe in you to the degree they feel you're holding yourself to the same standard you espouse for others. If you tell others about the need to manage costs, but then spend lavishly on yourself with a huge expense account, that's not gonna build a lot of trust. Or maybe you tell the team that we start work every morning at 8:30, but you occasionally arrive late. Not good. Your job isn't just to clarify standards at work. It's to model those standards better than anyone else.
That demonstrates integrity and builds trust. Finally, to the extent that is reasonable to do so, make your decisions transparent. The goal is to quickly and fully share your rational when you've made a decision. In the absence of a clear explanation, your team might perceive all kinds of things that are not productive. They might question your logic. They might make attributions about your competency. They could even assume that you're being political or playing favorites. To build trust you don't have to make decisions that everyone will love all the time.
But you do have to make decisions with integrity and explain why you did what you did. Leading is about more than merely being confident and competent. If you want the team to take the risks associated with continuous improvement, they have to believe in you as a person worth trusting. Start with the behaviors we just discussed and become as trustworthy as possible.
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- Assessing employee engagement
- Providing autonomy
- Building a transparent culture
- Modeling desired behavior
- Using monetary and nonmonetary motivators
- Fostering accountability
- Developing career paths for employees<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.