In the talent management field, trust among colleagues is not to be underestimated. To be successful in today’s competitive workplaces, leaders must build and maintain strong, trusting relationships with their co-workers. Charles Feltman’s The Thin Book of Trust observes 4 Distinctions of Trust that foster trusting relationships:
Sincerity – “I mean what I say, say what I mean, and act accordingly.” It is always important to show honesty in the work that you do. When you express an opinion on a topic, make sure it is valid, relevant, and backed up by sound thinking and facts. Your actions must align with your words or others will not feel that you are sincere. If you know that you will not be able to honor a commitment due to an unforeseen setback, be sincere and explain the situation rather than waiting until the last minute to let someone know that you will not be able to meet expectations.
Reliability – “You can count on me to deliver what I promise!” Meet the commitments that you make and keep your promises. When people find that you are reliable, they will come back and ask for your assistance. Being reliable means being there not only through the celebratory moments but also through difficult situations. The more you show that you do deliver on your promises, the more people will rely on and turn to you for your guidance. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “actions speak louder than words.”
Competence – “I know I can do this. I don’t know if I can do that.” Ensure that you have the ability to do what you are doing or propose to do. You must have the capacity, skill, knowledge and resources to accomplish certain tasks and objectives. It is important to understand what your competency level is in all areas of the organization. If you run into a topic or department that you have not worked with in the past, do some research and grow your competency in that area. Ask questions of experts and strengthen your knowledge base so that you can handle questions on your own in the future.
Care – “We’re in this together.” Have the other person’s interest in mind as well as your own when you make decisions and take actions. When people believe you hold their interest in mind, they will extend their trust more broadly to you. Be unselfish and place yourself in the other person’s shoes. This may change the perspective that you are currently holding and may lead to a better resolution.
Being a leader is not a simple task, whether you are a leader of a team or a process. However, if you keep in mind the concepts shared above, they will assist you in building and maintaining strong trusting relationships at work.
Tiffany Cardwell is a Principal Consultant on MCM’s HR Advisory Services team. She has more than twenty years of experience in domestic and international human resources within the banking, finance, food & beverage, healthcare, health insurance and long‐term care industries. She has expertise in acquisitions, change management, engagement, leadership coaching and development, performance management, compensation and total rewards, talent acquisition and workforce planning.
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