Trust is something that is hard to earn but very easy to lose. In fact trust is never learned, it can only be earned. Ultimately, trust is about consistency; believing that a person will behave in a certain way the 10th time, because they have behaved the same way for the previous 9 times.
In order to earn the trust of your boss or co-workers you will have to prove that you can be consistent on a set of basic qualities and behaviors over a period of time. Those qualities include always telling the truth and following through when you say you’ll do something. Your peers and superiors respect this type of consistency and this respect eventually grows into trust.
Other behaviors and qualities that will earn you not only the kudos of your employer and your fellow employees but their trust as well, are taking responsibilities for your own mistakes, not blaming others when things go wrong, and keeping people, especially your manager, in the loop. All managers, whether they are the CEO of a major corporation or an office co-coordinator like to have all of the facts as quickly as possible. Even if it’s bad news. In fact, especially if it’s bad news.
The last great piece about building trust comes from freely accepting responsibility. In the great novel, Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington he describes responsibility as “Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.”
Take responsibility for yourself and your actions and the trust of your fellows will be sure to follow. Most bosses simply want you to build on your strengths and be prepared to work on your weaknesses. If you do that in a consistent manner you will be guaranteed to earn not only their trust, but their confidence as well.
Trust does mean that you almost never have to say you’re sorry, but if you screw up, it’s a good idea to fess up and say that you are sorry. And if someone else makes a mistake it is always good grace to accept their apology. And to help them clean up the mess. Nothing builds trust like that feeling that no matter what happens, we are all in this together. And, you can trust me on that.
Mike Martin is the author of the Windflower Mystery Series and “Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People”. For more information please visit http://www.changethethingsyoucan.wordpress.com