Trust is an essential ingredient in any relationship, and the workplace is no exception. If your colleagues and employees don’t trust you to be honest, respectful and reliable, they won’t be eager to work with you, and your personal relationships at work will suffer.
You can’t build trust overnight, but leading with credibility in all of your actions will help the way others see you. If they see you as an authentic, communicative and responsible problem-solver, they will put more faith in your leadership.
Leading With Credibility in Action
Follow through with your commitments.
Abiding by this simple rule will build you a reputation as a trustworthy and dependable person on the job. If you say you are going to finish a project by Friday, have it completed on time. If you schedule an appointment, be there prepared and on time, and don’t reschedule or cancel unless absolutely necessary. Demonstrate that you respect other people’s time and work, and your personal relationships will thrive.
Be organized and punctual.
You expect your employees to be on time and ready to work, so you should hold yourself to the same standards. If you arrive at work 10 minutes late every day and your desk is a chaotic jumble of papers and coffee mugs, you are not leading with credibility and will not inspire confidence in the people you manage. Put your best foot forward and show that you are professional, capable and organized.
Think before you speak.
Making off-the-cuff statements and thinking out loud can earn you a reputation as someone who is scatterbrained and unreliable. Take the time to consider an idea and its consequences before you bring it up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore possibilities before committing to a project– it is much better to identify problems early on.
Keep others informed.
Personal relationships at work are often important to the success of your projects. If you need cooperation from colleagues, define what each person’s responsibilities are and set concrete deadlines for each item. Don’t assume that people have all the information if you haven’t given it to them; communicate clearly and make sure there are no surprises.
Sometimes leading with credibility means admitting you made a mistake. If you make a poor decision or miss a deadline or forget an important meeting, apologize and look for a solution. Everyone is human, but you will only make the situation worse if you try to deny accountability or place the blame on someone else.
How do you build trust with the people you work with?
Learn more about EDSI’s Leading With Credibility course.
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