7 Ways to earn trust
If you want loyal followers you need to earn their trust first. Here are some simple (but not always easy) actions you can take – inspired by a blog post in Random acts of leadership.
Be on time for meetings
Being frequently late sends a loud message about your unreliability, and your lack of respect for the people who have to wait for you. Why should they trust you if you don’t respect them?
Be prepared for meetings
Failing to prepare for meetings wastes peoples’ valuable time. If you waste their time, why should they trust you with other things of value to them? Poorly run meetings are breeding grounds for mistrust and resentment. Make sure you send out the agenda in advance and come prepared with your ideas and answers. Also be prepared to verify that you fulfilled any commitments you made at the last meeting.
Only make promises you can keep
Be very specific about what you agree to. Actions do speak louder than words. If it becomes apparent that you will not be able to deliver on your original commitment, raise this issue as soon as possible with the relevant people, and work out how to address the situation. You may not always be able to keep your original promise, but you can maintain trusting relationships.
Do not gossip
If you have an issue with someone, work it out with them face to face. By all means rehearse what you want to say with someone you trust, but do not gossip about others behind their back. People you gossip to can reasonably presume that you will also gossip about them when they are not present.
Keep confidential conversations confidential
Keeping confidences is a big responsibility, and it is a true test of your trustworthiness.
Own your mistakes
Admit when you have made a mistake and take full responsibility for dealing with the consequences. Share the lessons you have learned with your team. This creates a culture where people feel safe to experiment, make mistakes, learn and grow.
Admit when you don’t know something
Admitting you don’t know is a sign of strength, not weakness. If your staff can see that it is safe to admit when you don’t know something, they also will tell you the truth. Admitting you don’t have all the answers opens the door for collaborative learning.
Chief Operating Officer - Global Operations - RESULTS.com