Leaders Build Trust by Demonstrating Respect

The Second Wave: Relationship Trust

Building the Wave of Relationship Trust requires deliberate trust-building behaviors.

We will start with some character-based behaviors, such as straight talk, showing respect, being transparent, righting wrongs, and showing loyalty. We’ll also explore the “counterfeit” versions of these behaviors. A counterfeit behavior is one that looks like the trust-building behavior, but instead of building trust, this behavior is distorted into something that tears trust down.

This week: Demonstrate Respect

The second behavior in the second wave is pretty self explanatory. Demonstrating respect is caring for others and showing your care through your words and actions. Respect the dignity of every person in every role, regardless of status. Likewise, show kindness. And show kindness especially for those who can’t do anything for you in return. Additionally, avoid attempts to build relationships efficiently with people, because relationships take time, and don’t fake caring.

The opposite of Demonstrating Respect is blatant disrespect–showing no concern for others. Whereas blatant disrespect can be rare, a common “counterfeit” version of this behavior is faking concern and respect with words but not actions. Worse, another behavior is being respectful only to those who can do something for you in return.

If you’re familiar with my Four Levels of Maturity model, it’s worth pointing out that showing respect and concern only for those who can return the favor looks like level three or four, but it’s really level one.

What to do instead?

Say things like this:

  • I respect and appreciate you.
  • I’m glad for the chance to work with you.
  • Thanks for all you’re doing.
  • You are really good at…
  • What I respect about you is…
  • How do you see it?
  • What do you think?
  • We need your opinion.
  • You see things differently; I need to listen to you more.
  • I respect your position about this.

Show genuine concern for all. Demonstrate Respect to build trust.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

Next week: Create Transparency

See more blog posts on The Speed of Trust.

#1: Leaders Invest in Trust
#2: Credibility Gaps: Leaders Know the Waves of Trust
#3: Behavior, Credibility, and the Wrong Kinds of Trust
#4: Leaders Know Credibility is Driven by Behavior
#5: Build Trust by Talking Straight

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