Trust is the currency in all relationships, whether in office or at home. If you do not have enough of this currency, you will realise that more time, energy and money is needed to perform any task. However, the reverse is true if there is enough trust as well.
Imagine how things can be done faster if people had their trust in you?
Imagine that business deals are done simply with a handshake rather than countless pages of contract?
Imagine how you can align people to a common objective because they trust that you will deliver?
Before we carry on further talking about Trust, let’s define what it is in the first place.
What is trust?
Trust is basically summed up in one work “Confidence “. We place our trust (or confidence) in people and objects every single day of our lives. We trust what people say (or similarly, we distrust what some people might say), or we trust objects to fulfil their functions (eg, our car will work well and take us to the intended destination).
I will just focus on one of the most challenging areas and that is how do we get people to consistently trust you in what you ALL that you say.
Trust building is a combination of 2 things, namely Character and Competence.
If a person has a great character or good intent in all he does, you will tend to believe him. If he is congruent in his speech and actions, there is absolutely no reason to even doubt anything he does.
Character is important because most people have values and if these values are in conflict with what they believe in, they will leave your organisation.
When I was younger, I kept asking people to trust what I have to say. To my dismay, there were quite a few times people didn’t believe in me. This was because my character has not matured to the point where I ‘walk my talk’ or am clear on my values. I realised that when you have strong values, people actually respect you in what you do and will be drawn to what you say or share.
This is indispensible especially when you need to organise groups quickly or even make difficult decisions. Although what you do might be painful for certain individuals, they will still trust you because you act in good character and intent.
I am absolutely convinced that most politics stem out of distrust and ill-intent. The only way to combat such issues is to demonstrate good character and intent.
How to develop good character and intent:
- Be clear on your values and stand up for them.
- Honour everything you say (this includes your commitments to family and kids).
- Be careful of making rash commitments that you cannot keep.
- Trust others so that they can trust you. Trust is a reciprocal relationship.
While character is important in developing trust, I strongly believe that competence is the other element. I mean, are you able to trust a person who does not have the capability to do what he said he will do? Will you trust an inexperienced surgeon to perform a major surgery on you? Trust seems to be developed when you consistently deliver what you promised. You simply cannot trust someone who regularly shows poor performance at work. Therefore, in my opinion, competence inspires trust.
One of the fastest ways I learnt about building credibility and trustworthiness is when I have a track record. Being able to show for results do matter to a lot of people. When I first started out in business and talked about my inspirational team building programs, it took a lot of convincing for decision makers to use my programs.
In recent years after running so many mindset change team building programs and giving keynote speeches for government and corporate clients, it was so much easier to get the buy-in from them! I realised that I was actually spending a bit of time sharing about my experiences with the different types of clients and what kind of results that I had achieved with them. Most of them wanted to hear them and know whether I could deliver it for them as well.
That is why competence is important in establishing your trust currency. You have to show that you are capable to perform a task well and it will automatically inspire confidence within people. That is why to convince people quickly is to show them results and that you are competent in doing what you said you can do.
How to build competence:
- Constantly read and attend seminars to be an expert in your field.
- Achieve mastery in what you do for a living.
- What kind of results am I currently displaying in my work? Is it helping me display credibility in my work?
- Take responsibility for your results and make a decision to constantly improve it.
How to build trust?
Character and competence sums up what you need to get people to constantly trust what you have to say.
Since trust is developed over time, character and competence also takes time to build.
Where do you think you are in your character and competence level? I’d love to hear from you.