The beginning and ending of any relationship – professional or personal – has to do with trust. Whether it’s trust that’s established or trust that’s broken, it can make or break a partnership.
But what is trust?
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, trust is an “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.” This means, when your clients and employees trust you, they know you are leading them in the right direction because of their belief in your character, ability, strength and history of truthfulness.
Going hand-in-hand with trust is credibility. Credibility is defined as “the quality or power of inspiring belief.” Credibility builds trust, and vice-versa. If you are a credible source, you are also trustworthy because you have built that history of telling the truth, which leads to others believing what you say and believing in what you do.
So can you be a successful businessperson without trust OR credibility? Absolutely not. The good news? You can begin making efforts to build that trust and credibility today by taking small steps such as:
- Being honest! Don’t twist or withhold information.
- Use good judgement. Anyone in a corporate leadership position needs to know when to listen and when to talk. Think twice before sharing a blunt, unsolicited judgement – extreme honesty may hurt the recipient, which ironically could destroy trust and the safe environment you’re trying to build.
- Be consistent. You’ve heard the phrase, “say what you mean and mean what you say.” This phrase could not be more truthful for executives. You need to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk and build trust in the workplace. This comes down to the little things – even showing up every day, on time, and doing the work.
- Be willing to make compromises. As a leader, you need to be able to ask and answer the tough questions to build the company. You need to listen to others’ ideas with an open mind and focus on solutions rather than individual personalities to do what’s best for your organization.