Lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes me feel trusted at work. There are a lot of great articles written about why trust is good and important to have with your team, so I won’t go into detail about that. To me, it seems obvious that you need to trust those you work with in order to be productive together. Without trust, you spend all your time worrying about what others are doing and how it might affect you.
Of course, building trust is personal, complicated, and difficult. It can take time to grow, especially in a group. Here are some ideas for helping to build a foundation of trust.
1. Demonstrate Trust in Others
This is a great place to start. Being honest, forthcoming, and trusting will:
- Demonstrate how you would like to be treated
- Set an example of the culture you’re trying to build
- Show others that you have nothing to hide and allow them to open up to you
This can be a vulnerable place, but building trust takes work.
2. Use Guidelines Instead of Rules
People tend to feel engaged and empowered when they have choices. However, rules take away choices; they specify what should and must be done. Taking away someone’s ability to choose by instituting rules implies that they wouldn’t make the “right” choice without those rules. Using guidelines rather than rules shows that you trust everyone to act in the spirit of your expectations.
3. Be Transparent about Decision-Making
Being transparent can show others that you value their input on the decision-making process. Even if people disagree with a decision, showing them the thought process behind your choices can help them understand and trust your intentions.
4. Have Open Discussions about Policies Inside and Outside of the Company
Creating a culture where open discussion is encouraged builds trust. Showing others that they can share their opinions and input on a topic, regardless of the popularity of those opinions, invites people to propose new ideas. Encouraging discussion from everyone shows that you value their ideas, so they’re more likely to trust you by sharing what they think.
What methods have you used to build trust on your team?