“A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.”
What is the foundation of a solid professional relationship? Trust. It is fundamental to forming reliable and authentic relationships in the workplace.
You may be saying that trust isn’t essential to simply “getting things done.” And you would be right. You can “get things done” without trust. There are many workplaces where staff comes in, sits down, and cranks out the work.
So, the question is how effectively, smoothly, and willingly will tasks get completed without trust? What does your workplace environment look like without trust?
Did you know that one of the most important factors linked to both individual and team performance is having a sense of trust?
Yet in my work as a coach, I continue to be shocked at the number of times my clients tell me they don’t trust their boss, their co-workers or their team members.
I consistently hear comments like:
- I’m not confident so and so on the team can really deliver.
- If I’m honest about what I can’t do so and so will use it against me.
- I know when push comes to shove so and so won’t have my back.
This really got me to wondering: Why is there such an absence of trust in today’s workplace?
We all know logically that without trust communication, cooperation and the best outcomes aren’t possible. Yet trust continues to be an issue.
We all know there isn’t a magic answer for how to fix the problem. However, we do know that we can’t change others. We can only change ourselves and how we show up.
I have a challenge for you – if you’re not feeling like you have a lot of trust with your boss, co-workers or team members, first ask yourself “How trustworthy would they find me?” Then rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 – with 10 being they would find me fully trustworthy and 1 being they wouldn’t find me trustworthy at all.
As you’re thinking about the answer to this question, really reflect on your past behavior. Think about the last several times you engaged with your boss, your co-workers or team members and really look hard at the messages and behaviors you exhibited. Ask yourself if your messages and behaviors warranted trust?
Then once you have your number, the next thing to figure out is how to elevate it because the more trustworthy we become, the easier – and safer – it will be for others to follow suit.
There are 3 questions you can ask and answer for yourself to help figure out how you can become more trustworthy.
Question #1: How and where can I become humbler and more vulnerable?
How and when can you share more about yourself, your stories, your challenges and your shortcomings?
Question #2: How can I share more caring and honest feedback?
How can you provide feedback that really demonstrates encouragement and that you have the other person’s best interest at heart?
Question #3: Am I really walking my own talk?
Are you really living up to who you say you are? For example, if you truly value not having gossip in the workplace, make sure you aren’t gossiping.
Trust is something that takes a lot of time to build and something that can be destroyed within a single moment. So be careful and make sure you’re doing everything you can to build trust. The more trust you build with someone, the more solid the relationship will be and the better the business outcome.
If you’re struggling with trust in a business relationship or working on a team without trust and are open to getting some help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get a conversation started!