What takes time to develop but can disappear in a second? You might say the Detroit Lions missed the march to the Super Bowl, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but I was going for something else today. In business, we all have a role in adding value to our organization and clients, developing innovative ideas, collaborating, and taking calculated risks to go beyond the status quo to boldly reach new heights. What takes time to develop to make all this possible is trust. The core of our most successful and rewarding relationships must be a foundation of trust. You don’t walk into a new relationship with trust. Trust takes time to develop, and if you are not careful, it could be diminished or destroyed in seconds.
Let’s dive more into how trust sprouts and grows in a relationship. Upon first meeting someone, you typically have an immediate reaction…those critical first impressions. Is the person smiling at you? Looking you in your eyes? Actively listening? Or are they looking past you to see if someone else in the room should get their attention? Are they looking at their phone? Are they talking more at you than being curious and talking with you? Those immediate impressions start the cascade of further interactions that build trust if done correctly. Growing trust requires a thoughtful and intentional approach, encompassing open communication, reliability, and empathy.
Open and transparent communication is foundational in a trusted relationship. The news may not always be positive, but trust grows when people know you will tell them what they need to know, not just what they want to hear. In your working relationships, provide frequent, relevant updates, share insights, and be honest about pending challenges. The adage of “under promise and over deliver” really should be, “Just do what you say you will do when you said you would do it.” Doing that consistently builds the trust that people can count on your words, actions, and results.
Trust strengthens when there is consistency and alignment of one’s actions with their words and words with their actions. Without these things, trust deteriorates. Consistency in behavior allows others to trust your intentions, allowing colleagues and clients to lean in more to the relationship. The more trust, the more creativity and innovation, as it takes trust to be vulnerable in sharing what could be possible. And it takes even more trust and vulnerability to take action on those ideas! In a trusted environment, one contributes to the conversation with diverse ideas, building an even better outcome.
Trust is about consistency. It is a reminder that every moment matters. Every interaction provides another opportunity to build your brand of being trustworthy. And when you wear that badge of honor, loyalty is returned.
“Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.”