Trust is the key for all successful relationships. Without trust you are fighting an uphill battle that you likely aren’t going to win. Courtney Poulin has some wonderful thoughts on where trust comes from. I regularly review his ideas to make sure I stay authentic when I interact with others.
Transparency – If you’re not transparent with what you do and say you will not build and maintain trust. Transparency means you must be open and honest with others about your expectations as well as your goals.
Be consistent – If we say or do something one day and then do another the next we will lose trust with others. When the people we work with don’t know what we’re going to do or how we’re going to act others don’t know who we are. Being consistent in thought and actions are signs of someone who can be counted on.
Respect others – If you don’t respect the people you’re working with you won’t gain trust with them. I find that every time I don’t respect another person I know that it’s time to move on. Lack of respect is the same as lack of trust and I know our relationship has broken down or is likely to break down soon.
Integrity – Integrity is the first cousin of consistency. If you act with integrity, even when it’s not in your best interest, others will believe that you are doing the right thing. Integrity means not taking advantage of others and always working for a win/win solution.
Openness – Being open to ideas that aren’t yours will help build trust. A major part of openness is being a good listener. Listening well allows you to fully understand what’s important to others. If you listen well you are likely to be more open to what’s important and find new ways of making things work. Good listeners are trusted.
Allowing time for trust to develop – Trust does not happen overnight. It takes time for trust to develop. Developing patience for trust to develop and letting a natural course take place helps others become comfortable enough with you to develop trust.
Willingness to be vulnerable – For many this is the most difficult action to take. Being vulnerable means trusting others before they trust you. When you first trust others they will likely reciprocate as long as the trust that you offer is genuine. If you fake trust others will pick this up and instead of building trust you build dis-trust.
When you exhibit the behaviors above it becomes easy for others to trust you. You will have shown other people that you are interested in their success. At the same time you will need to make sure that your trust becomes reciprocated. Trust is a two way street and always must be treated as such.
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