One of my friends recently joined a new organization at a senior position. When we met over a cup of coffee a few days before his joining, he mentioned to me that his primary challenge would be to build trust. As professionals, we interact with a wide variety of people including our customers, suppliers, new team members, cross departmental folks and people at the customer’s end. Success of these interactions largely depends on trust we are able to build.
Our conversation took an exploratory turn and we started thinking about ways to build trust in a new assignment. The following prominent lessons emerged out:
Deliver Results: This comes first on the list because in a business setting, trust is difficult to build without first building a track record. When you are new, let your work make a profound statement. Focus on early-wins. We instantly agreed on this one.
Keep Commitments: Consistently meeting your commitments is a great way to build trust. Clients love it when you ship on time. People love it when you keep your promises. Use productivity tools, reminder systems, whatever. But keep your commitments.
Give Respect: Trust and respect go hand in hand. If you want to be trusted, you first need to be respected. Giving respect to others is the starting point of building meaningful connections with others. Respect people, respect their views, listen to them and respect their time. Ditto with trust – extend trust and you get it back in equal measures. Lao Tzu said this, "He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted."
Clarify Expectations: When you are new to an organization, it is very important that you manage expectations well. Let people know what they can expect from you. What you expect from them. Clarifying expectations helps you gain a focus on results.
Be Integral: Simply put, integrity is congruence between your thoughts, words and deeds. Practice what you preach and preach what you practice. When new in an organization, people carefully observe you to gauge the integrity. Transparency is important too.
As a leader, when you are engaged to build a team and make a difference, you need to carefully examine your own behavior. Thinking a step ahead, we realized that the above findings are equally relevant to the organizations too, when they deal with their customers and build trust. Most companies loose clients/people either because they are not trustworthy or their people aren’t.
Walk the talk and talk the walk – that’s the simplest formula for building trust as a leader, professional or an organization.
On that note, have a wonderful Wednesday!
P.S. BIG Thanks to Wally Bock for selecting my post 5 Ideas To Ensure That Lessons are ‘Really’ Learned in Management Improvement Carnival #104.