Your Trusted Inner Circle at Work
Think small, genuine, and mutually beneficial
Posted Mar 28, 2016
When it comes to trust at work, too many people think big – whole team, department, or company. However, if you want big benefits that trust brings think much smaller.
You might have 2000 twitter followers, 500 Facebook friends, and 300 LinkedIn contacts, but genuine trusted work relationships may be less than a dozen. That's partially because the time and commitment to cultivate and nurture these relationships is significant. But, for those who do, the benefits are significant, too.
There are all kinds of relationships at work. There are the "What can you do for me today?" type; the "What's in it for me?" variety; the competitive-adversarial, difficult or manipulative ones most of us try to avoid; and of course, there are the giving, helpful, and supportive kinds. Some last decades; some a few hours.
But the kind of work relationships which bring the greatest rewards are the mutually beneficial kind. These involve time, commitment, energy, and authentic trust. These trust-relationships provide an inner circle of people you can count on, and who can count on you.
That doesn't necessarily mean these people work directly with or around you, They may or may not. But, but they're in the "inner" circle of people you can rely on, and who rely on you for honest input, thoughtful feedback, open dialogue, healthy conflict of differing points of view, and assistance when needed most.
These are the people who have your best interests at heart, who "see" you and enable your talents, dreams, and goals. These are the people who are there when you most need them; who come through for you no matter. And you do the same for them.
These genuine work relationships are fueled with authentic trust and they come with benefits. These are the people who will ...
- Enable you to do your own great work
- Encourage and support your efforts to thrive at work
- Provide deeper meaning or connection to what you do
- Tell you the truth as they see it, without spin or a personal agenda
- Assist you through difficult times
- Support or naturally follow you, no matter your role
- Invite you along from one organization or opportunity to another; or who you will invite along to join you there
These inner circle trust-relationships have several things in common:
- They don't happen without authentic trust that is nurtured and cultivated by both parties.
- They're about individual people, not positions or networks.
- They respect what each person brings into the relationship – knowledge, experience, values, beliefs, differences, background, strengths, and weaknesses.
- They enable authentic, candid, confidential, and important discussions.
- They require something more – a mutually beneficial exchange of services, skills, support, contribution, time, effort, listening, compassion, and the like.
You may not be able to change your big world at work when it comes to trusting relationships. But, you can certainly foster, develop, and evolve your smaller ones – your inner group who bring you big benefits. And of course, you bring those same big benefits to them. After all, isn't that how genuine relationships work? Want more trust at work – start small!
More trust building tips:
- How to Step Toward Trust in Cultures of Distrust
- What Every Leader Should Know About Trust and Influence
- 25 Simple Trust Building Behaviors
- The Problem with a Trust-but-Verify Approach
Want to explore more about genuine work relationships founded on trust? You'll find tips and real-world information in Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture That Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation