Building Trust

TrustPerhaps no phrase is as true as the one that says ‘Trust takes a lifetime to build and a second to lose.’ Building trust takes time, effort and consistency. You must work to build trust. It is critical in any work environment and it starts with leaders.

In any work environment, people will look to the leader to set the tone. Is the manager the first one in the office? Is the boss’ door open when you need to talk? The employees trust that the manager is the manager for a reason: they believe you have earned your position through your knowledge, work ethic and commitment to the company.

An article I read recently highlighted just how important that trust between leader and worker is. Workers want a consistent, dependable leader – a leader they can trust. What can you do as a leader to build trust with your team?

Have a style- and stick to it: The people who work under you notice the way you do things. If you switch suddenly without explaining why, they are more likely to lose trust in you. Instead, be open about why you may be trying a new technique or cutting something out of your company’s mission.

Don’t get caught in a lie: This one should be pretty obvious. Trust is based in part of honesty. If your team finds out you flat out lied to them, trust evaporates. It will be very hard to get back. Walk the walk and talk the talk in the workplace.

It just takes one: Just one misstep can shake the faith people have in you. It only takes one lie for trust to disappear, Meanwhile, it takes many examples of you telling the truth for people to believe your word. So make sure that you are consistent and open with employees.

Be able to take criticism: Too often we are blind to our own flaws. If your credibility is up for debate in the office, don’t rush to the defensive. Consider what and why people may be saying and examine your habits. If there is truth in the criticism, it may be time to change a few things about yourself.

While it may take time, gaining trust is not a complicated science. People respond to the same qualities in all kinds of people. Whether you’re a senior manager or it’s your first time in the corner office, you need to espouse the same kind of leadership qualities. Workplace studies have shown over and over again workers who don’t trust the leader are less engaged and less committed to their work. Put in the work on the front end and your company will benefit from it in the long haul.