Start with trust and build from there.
So many of the relationships in our life boil down to one simple word: trust. It works in friendship, romance and in the workplace. Really, if you don’t have trust in any relationship, there’s nowhere you can go that won’t wind up being tainted by distrust and underhanded dealings. So what are my six tips for making sure you have trust in the workplace? Here you go!
1. Stay open. There’s nothing that will get people to distrust you more than closing yourself off to them or their suggestions. Keep an open mind (and an open door) to your team members and they’ll feel more welcome and trusting.
2. Be honest. Of course, tact is important, but it’s always critical that your employees trust that they can always count on honest feedback or opinions from you.
3. Don’t keep secrets. Going right along with the whole honesty thing. Keeping secrets from employees may come back to haunt you in the end. Now, I understand there are some things that you simply can’t share with your team for the sake of confidentiality, but I’m talking about trivial secrets. There’s no need to hide them.
4. Use discretion. Tackling that whole confidentiality topic I mentioned above, it is important that you don’t turn into the office gossip. If someone tells you something in confidence, they must be able to trust that you won’t go blabbing about it to the entire office. Make sure to respect people’s privacy and they’ll trust you much more.
5. Be an advocate. Stick up for your employees when you think that they’re right. Don’t just go with what your peers or management says. Sure, it may not make you popular short term, but when your team trusts that you have their back, they’re much more loyal and willing to work harder and better for you.
6. Respect your employees. It’s not just about standing up for your employees, but about really, truly respecting them. When a team can tell that you really respect them all, then they are much more likely to trust you.
Now, I said that these tips were for developing trust in the workplace, but I honestly think that many of these points work in friendships and romantic relationships as well. We’d all do better (dontcha think) by keeping these guidelines to heart – even in this world where the click of a button means sharing your information, thoughts, and feelings with the world.