When I help my clients create workplaces based on commitment, rather than compliance we discuss how building trust is a process. It takes time and lots of effort. However, the results far outweigh the effort that must be invested in order to make this happen.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Begin today - Every lost day is a lost opportunity to build a relationship with those members of your team, who you rely most heavily upon.
Be consistent - Deep trust is earned when you display consistent behaviors over a period of time. Think of people you know, who do this well. What is your relationship like with these people? Would you trust them with your life? Then think of others whose behaviors vary, depending on the weather. What is your relationship like with these people. Would you be willing to walk a tight rope if they were holding one end of the rope?
Remove the debris - It's difficult to rebuild trust, if there are obstacles in the way. I like to refer to these obstacles as debris. It's the stuff that's in the room that you refuse to clear. Here is an example. Everyone knows that you said there would be no more layoffs, yet last month you did a "reduction-in-force." Call it what you like. It's still a lay-off. Your employees don't expect you to be perfect. However, they do expect you to own up to mistakes you make, just like you expect them to do the same. Clear the air and apologize for saying something you have come to regret. This way everyone can move forward.
Be respectful - This may sound a lot easier than it actually is. Here is just one of the many ways managers fail to be respectful. The last time your phone rang while you were meeting with an employee, what did you do? If you said that you answered the phone, then it may be time to rethink how respectful you are to your employees. It's hard to make a real connection with an employee, while multi-tasking. In fact, it's impossible.
Be genuine - Give praise where due. This means resisting the temptation to give someone a pat on the back, (if you don't think they deserve it), just because everyone else is.
It's our behaviors that build trust, not our intentions. Trust me. I know.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions
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