Being able to successfully work with others, whether in a professional or personal manner, can be greatly improved by building trust relationships. The challenge there is that trust is not easy to build and it is not something that can be created overnight. That being said, there are some things that we can consciously do to improve the level of trust we are able to establish with others.
A simple formula to help with building trust is to be honest, to do what you say, and to say what you do. Below is more explanation on each of those steps.
Being honest: It may sound like we are stating the obvious to mention that building trust starts with being honest, but it is worth stating as it is critical. When someone detects or identifies dishonesty from someone else, there is tremendous damage done to the level of trust. Regardless of how big or significant the act of dishonesty is, the result can be doubt and questioning in future situations. This doubt and questioning has a negative impact on the level of trust. If you want to build trust, it can help to avoid this negative impact and that can be achieved by simply being honest.
Doing what you say: “Doing what you say” refers to following through on what you commit to. By being there when you say you are going to be there and doing what you say you are going to do, you become reliable. By being reliable, you become somebody that people trust. Being somebody that people can trust is a key step in building trust relationships.
Saying what you do: “Saying what you do” refers to being open with the way you share information. The easiest way to understand how this can help is to picture somebody who does not share much information on who they are, what they have done, and what they are thinking. How much trust would you have for that person – not much. If you flip that to the other extreme, you would have someone that is very open and honest on where they come from, what they have done, what they are doing, what they are thinking, etc. How much trust will you have for this person? It is likely that this person will have much more success in building trust relationships.
One way that sharing information can be very powerful when it comes to building trust and healthy relationships is when we share information that is typically hidden or guarded. This is typically information that we are not proud about – our mistakes, our failures, things we have done wrong, etc. When you are able to share this type of information with others, it will make you appear vulnerable because you are sharing something that you are probably not proud of. It will show you have humility because you are sharing something that most people don’t. It will make you seem relatable because we all make mistakes. It will decrease doubt on what you are hiding in the future because you are openly sharing information from the past that you could have hidden. All of these things will help with building trust relationships.