5 Ways Leaders Can Build Trust

Trust is essential for any leader. Without trust, you can’t lead anyone willingly.

I started my new job July 29th, 2013. I was nervous, excited, fearful, but most of all, ready for the challenge. I was scared because it’s something new. Anxiety and worries follow fear with any new endeavor. The combination of fear, anxiety, worries is a great recipe for mistakes and missed opportunities at a new job.

Trust standing at the edge

Image via NASA

What kills my fears, worries, and anxiety about a new job is my solid plan. I have a “money-back guarantee” strategy that will not fail. This strategy is based on the wisdom I’ve gathered in my career, excellent books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

This strategy’s core is about building trust. Trust allows you to grow quickly at any job. It permits favors from colleagues. It grows community around your work. It creates referrals for your achievement awesomeness. It creates opportunities that lead to promotions and pay raises.

These tips aren’t just for new hires. You can accomplish these things at any stage in your career. Here are 5 tips to build trust at work immediately.

1) Be transparent
Put away a secret self-promoting agenda. Be open with your colleagues. Avoid acting like you have it all together, because you don’t (especially if you’re new to the job!).

Meet with the essential people at work with the purpose of getting to know them. Let them know that you want to build a relationship. Remember that people like to offer favors for those whom they know.

Don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions. When you ask, be transparent and say, “I know that you’re a pro at this, but I’m struggling. Could you help me understand this process a little better?”

2) Work for the success of others

If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar

Be willing to sacrifice early on for your peers and seniors. This shows many reliable (and hire-able!) qualities:
Team member
Best of all : Trustworthy

Remember that not everyone trusts you like your significant others or your mom. You have to work to gain trust!

3) Give more than expected
Jeff Goins recently inspired me to write my worldview down. #3 is what guides me.

Have you experienced receiving more service than expected? Have you been wowed by quality service? Did you share your experience with someone else?

Delivering more than expected creates a fan. A fan is a great way to spread the word about your creditability.
Some men who inspire me to continually give more are
Dan Miller
Jeff Goins
Pat Flynn

4) Don’t speak poorly of others

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13

I hate it when people bad mouth me. I’m assuming you hate it too.

Whenever I hear someone smack-talking someone at work, I picture them as a Hyena. I think Hyenas are cacklers, complainers, do-nothings, hecklers. I want nothing to do with them.

I encourage you to do the same. Avoid people who bad-mouth others. Nothing good can ever come from it.

The best advice I can offer is to change the subject or leave the room if you’re stuck in that situation.

5) Be quick to listen and slow to speak
This can save your skin. Gathering up all necessary information and making a collected decision can save you from a poor decision and possibly offending someone. (I seem to be an expert at failing this tip)

This is a weakness of mine. I’m a High I, minor D in the DISC profile. Most of my co-workers are High C’s. I’m like the squirrel stuck in a room of sloths! I want to get 10,000 things done and they’re still considering whether or not the first idea is maintainable.

Bonus Tips!
Remember tip number 3? 😉

6) Withhold judgment
This applies back to tip #5.

Whether you’re new or experienced, you don’t know every angle of someone’s judgment call. Be gracious rather than harsh when someone makes a mistake.

Judging whether a decision was right or wrong is not worth much of your time. Whatever conclusion you come to will not change the situation.

What will be helpful to you and to the coworker is deciding on how to move forward. Discover how you can help. You may just create a new opportunity or a best friend.

7) Watch your non-verbal communication
I suck at non-verbal communication. Multiple supervisors informed me that I come across as a “Know-it-all”.

The way I’ve conquered my awful non-verbal communication is by consistently smiling. I’m not great at this, so if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

8) Be consistent
It’s hard to trust a coworker who’s inconsistent. Inconsistent behavior breeds distrust and lack of favor. Have you ever been in a meeting and “that guy” enters 15 minutes late? A few roll their eyes.

Tip #8 points to a leadership principle: A leader keeps his word. If you promise to be there at 8AM, then be there.

Question: What tip did you expect to see on this list, but didn’t? Do you make it a goal to build trust at work? What have you found to be extremely effective to build trust? 

This is a guest post by Alex Barker. Alex is the host of The Leadership Dojo , where he and you learn to lead and master life. His upcoming podcast will be launched September of 2013 which will contain interviews from national to small-time leaders discussing their secret sage wisdom. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

I’m always looking for guest posters. If you would like to guest post, you can find the guidelines at An Invitation To Guest Post.

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