One of the most important aspects of being effective at work—as professionals, managers, or leaders—is earning and upholding others’ trust through our actions, not through our words. We earn trust by making and honoring commitments. We earn trust slowly but can lose it in an instant.
Here are ten elements that can help you earn your constituencies’ trust:
- Competency. Develop your expertise in everything that is fundamentally important to your role, team, organization, company, or industry. Be knowledgeable and resourceful.
- Cause. Develop, articulate, and agree on a vision of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and empowerment. Define a path and guide your organization’s way forward.
- Challenge. Stretch yourself. Push the boundaries to help people accomplish more. Channel people’s collective strengths and capabilities. Push the limits of their thoughts and actions. Expect excellence.
- Connectedness. Foster an environment of collaborative commitment. Build spirited teams. Value and celebrate diversity. Provide inclusion. Build team cohesion.
- Concern. Get to know the people you work with. Be approachable. Create a workplace where people feel genuinely cared. Grow, train, and retain people. Recognize their individuality and encourage them to strive to do their best.
- Credibility. Act with integrity. Do what you commit to. Do the right things for the right reasons.
- Consistency. Be steady in your purpose. Be open and honest. Set clear standards. Communicate and act consistently so others don’t need to guess what your motivations or intentions are. Communicate and lead from the front. Be visible. Be transparent and forthright, especially during tough times.
- Continuity. Respect and honor the past. Be willing to learn from past failures and successes.
- Commitment. Fully dedicate your resources to a task, especially when times are tough. Once you’ve undertaken to do something, invest the necessary effort and actions to make it happen.
- Celebration. Recognize employees for all levels of achievement—for big projects, service milestones, and day-to-day accomplishments. Celebration helps fuel human accomplishment.