Workplace Habits that Cultivate Trust
It is sometimes the simplest of workplace habits that reap the greatest benefits. Here are 7 easy tips to build trust in every day interaction.
When anyone is aspiring to a leadership role they think they have to be endowed with special gifts which will elevate them almost mystically to a senior level of trust and authority. What they don’t realise is that leadership skills are a consistent combination of good workplace habits which build up those skills over time.
7 good workplace habits that cultivate trust
1. Build rapport
Get to know your team – really get to know them and treat them with respect. You are laying the foundation for long-standing trusting relationships. This is especially important to resolve misunderstanding or conflict. The Guardian quotes the book Never Split The Difference, written by former FBI Agent Chris Voss who suggests there are five stages in what’s known as the “behavioural change stairway model” that take anyone from “listening to influencing behaviour”. The first stage is active listening – that is showing the other person that you have taken in what they’ve said and, more importantly, have a sense of what it means to them.
2. Use the right language
Elizabeth Stokoe, professor of social interaction at Loughborough University and her colleagues have analysed thousands of hours of recorded conversations, from customer services to mediation hotlines and police crisis negotiation. They discovered that certain words or phrases have the power to change the course of a conversation. Even saying “hello” can make a profound difference to the way a conversation goes. Asking if someone would be “willing to consider” another option using langauge choice to reach better long-term outcomes.
3. Put the needs of your team first.
Find out what is going on for them. You won’t get to that place until you ask the right questions. Then make a judgement. If you worry about your own position you are shooting yourself in the foot and sabotaging your position.
Worth a Look: Leadership Assessment – Self-awareness is your foundation for continuous development and increased effectiveness as a leader. Why? You can’t maximize or change what you don’t see.
4. Speak last.
Leaders speak last says Simon Sinek. Let your team have their say and listen to their ideas. If you speak first they are likely to be intimidated by your authority, or even your dazzling personality and conformity bias will kick in.
Worth a read: Why self-awareness is a critical leadership skill
5. Show appreciation
Thank you is a small phrase with a powerful message. Broadcasting your appreciation takes your gratitude a step further. Make your appreciation an action point and pay it forward by sponsoring your top talent to achieve greater things. You can’t earn trust by holding them back.
6. Head off little problems
Before they become major issues. Keeping your head above the fray may allow trouble to fester. You don’t want to disempower your team by micro-managing, but if you know the players and the problems you will have a handle on what’s going on and when the best time to step in and intervene will be.
7. Communicate constructively
Remaining calm and consistent under pressure is a top workplace habit that builds trust. You gain time to communicate with tought and intent and can examine all options.