Leaders Develop Trust Whether the Relationship is Good or Bad

The Second Wave: Relationship Trust

Relationship status: Do not know the person

When you are unsure about the state of your relationship with someone–whether you’re new to each other or know each other but, haven’t worked closely together–here’s how to take initiative:

  1. Start with yourself. We’ve explored this concept before. Make sure your Four Cores of Credibility are in place.
  2. Declare your intent. Say things out loud like, “I want this relationship to go well. Is it okay to talk about how to make that happen?” This is where solid DiSC training can enhance your efforts.
  3. Listen first. Ask the person to share three behaviors to build trust and confidence with them. Which is most important? Reflect back on what you hear.
  4. Create transparency. Share three behaviors important to you that build trust and confidence.
  5. Keep your commitments to each other by revisiting yours and their three behaviors every few weeks or so.

Relationship status: Know the person but do not trust them

Developing trust can be more difficult with someone you know but do not trust. Whereas the process is similar to the above instructions, it requires more mental heavy lifting on your part.

  1. Start with yourself. Examine your intent. What do you really want? Is it worth it?
  2. Don’t give up too soon. This applies both to the other person and to your ability to develop trust.
  3. Separate. It’s important to separate the person from the behavior. Explain the behavior causing the loss of confidence, the result, and what it’s costing. This conversation will be hard, but it is worth the effort. Additionally, your feedback is easier for someone to take when it’s specific to a behavior. For example, you might be thinking, “Joe, you do sloppy work, and it looks like you don’t even care and are kind of a liar about it.” However, this phrasing may lose trust instead of building it. So, instead, link your thought to a specific behavior. “Joe, your TPS reports have been late the last couple of months, and some of the figures were in error.”
  4. Make a behavior-specific request. After you give your feedback in a kind, concise, and specific manner, offer your behavior request. Say, “Here’s what you can do to help us get back on track…” or “Here’s what can make my trust in you solid…”
  5. Ask for their input. It’s critical to ask what you can do and then listen carefully to their request. For example, “What do you want from me to help make that happen for us?”
  6. Finally, give an account of your commitments and invite the other person to do the same.

Building trust is a two-way street. There must be mutual agreement and understanding from both parties. Collaborate together in the process.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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
#6: Leaders Build Trust by Demonstrating Respect
#7: Leaders Build Trust by Creating Transparency
#8: Leaders Build Trust by Righting Wrongs
#9: Leaders Build Trust by Showing Loyalty
#10: Leaders Build Trust by Delivering Results
#11: Leaders Build Trust by Getting Better
#12: Leaders Build Trust by Confronting Reality
#13: Leaders Build Trust by Clarifying Expectations
#14: Leaders Build Trust by Practicing Accountability
#15: Leaders Build Trust by Listening First
#16: Leaders Build Trust by Keeping Commitments
#17: Leaders Build Trust by Extending Trust
#18: Leaders Make “Smart Trust” As Easy As Possible
#19: Leaders Restore Trust When Mistakes Are Made

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