Four Ways of Building Trust
Four Ways of Building Trust
In a world where trust seems to be in short supply, knowing how to build and sustain trust is a good thing. Whether you work in a team, lead a team or rely on building relationships to sell your products and services, trust is important for sustainable business success.
Based on the Thin Book of Trust by Charles Feltman, here are some top tips for building trust:
This is important to establish. People will want to know that you are honest. They will want you to say what you mean and mean what you say. There needs to be no ‘say-do’ gap. If you don’t believe it, don’t say it. If you do believe it, then say so.
You will need to be credible by being serious and being taken seriously by others. Have information to back up your point of view. If there is no data available, then say why you believe in what you say.
Express your feelings. Conviction and passion for a subject can be very persuasive, even in the absence of information. Say why you think and feel this is the right thing to do.
Make sure that your non-verbal communication (e.g. body language) is congruent with what you are saying. People are very quick to pick up on visual cues.
Manage expectations. We often want to promise people the very best possible delivery time because that’s what we feel that people will want to hear. However, be careful not to set yourself up by over-promising and under-delivering. This will only lead to disappointment. It’s much better to under-promise and over-deliver.
If you say that you are going to do it, then do it. If something prevents you from delivering on time then own up straight away. Explain why the delay has occurred. People will want to give you a second chance, but only if they believe you.
This doesn’t always have to be formal qualifications and diplomas etc. Competence is very much about demonstrated skills and knowledge to undertake and complete particular tasks.
Inspire people’s confidence about what you do by giving examples. However, be careful not to overdo it – this may put people off as being over-confident can appear as being arrogant.
Make sure that you have a plan and sufficient resources available to deliver the plan. Share with others what you intend to do and how you intend to go about it.
Building trust means that it can’t be all about you. Of course, you have needs and wants but trust is two-way phenomenon – therefore you need to have the other person’s interest in mind too.
Consider the impact that your actions will have on the other person. This is where having empathy is important. Although people often forget what they are told, they rarely forget how they are made to feel.
Paul Beesley, director and senior consultant