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25 Simple Trust Building Behaviors

What does it look like to be building trust at work?

We can use the same words but mean different things. When it comes to building trust at work that's often the case. However you define trust or use the word, stop thinking about trust per se, even though trust is a necessary ingredient to both engagement and innovation.

A better way to look at trust is to look at the behaviors that enable engagement, innovation, great work, sustainable results, and exceptional work relationships. These are the behaviors that also build trust, no matter your role.

Bing Image - free to use and share
Source: Bing Image - free to use and share

What do the behaviors look like that naturally and organically built trust?
Here are 25 that will make a difference in any workplace, organization, or community:

  1. Treat people as the talented, creative, resourceful, and innovative adults they are.
  2. Listen to learn. Withhold judgment. Engage in real dialogue.
  3. Hold yourself to high standards. Own what you do or don't do; silence speaks, too.
  4. Be very good at what you do. Competence is a litmus test for believability.
  5. Be self-managed, self-motivated, and self-aware.
  6. Do what you say you'll do; model what you say matters to you, i.e. behavioral integrity.
  7. Keep perspective if things go wrong or setbacks happen (personal ones, too).
  8. See people as individuals, not roles; show respect, kindness, and consideration.
  9. Check your assumptions, beliefs, and facts.
  10. Pay more attention to what people do right, than wrong. See the good, first.
  11. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Get beyond the me.
  12. Be fair. Engage people in the process. Fairness is about involvement, transparency, and clarity, not support, sameness or agreement.
  13. Be risk free. Minimize the fear others' might have sharing their ideas, thoughts, feedback, and dreams with you.
  14. Actions. Behaviors. Words. They all count and have ripples. Use caution.
  15. Know what matters to the people around you.
  16. Show appreciation. Notice what others do to make things easier or better for you; say thank-you.
  17. Be someone people want to work with. Make it easy and enjoyable to work with you.
  18. Offer feedback with positive intention, no personal agenda, and helpful consideration.
  19. Be responsive. Answer messages. Help others get answers; share your knowledge.
  20. Consider the stories you tell, the tweets or links you send, the pictures you post as equivalent to the words you speak. They're telling about you.
  21. Be known for how you show up; how you walk-your-talk.
  22. Stand for something that others can articulate by your actions.
  23. Help people see the why behind the what.
  24. Operate, at least most days, from a grounded best-of-self place.
  25. Give more than you take.

There are numerous other behaviors that naturally and easily build trust and help create work groups where engagement and innovation thrive. Trust building is a process. Relationship building is a process. Self-development is a process. Invest the best of who you are in all three and you'll get great results, no matter your role.

You'll find more tips and trust building behaviors for yourself and your work group:

You'll find five trust essentials in my book: Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture That Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation

About the Author
Nan S Russell

Nan S. Russell is a former corporate executive and the author of four books, including, Trust, Inc. and The Titleless Leader.

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