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Eleven Tips to Build Trust

I recently spoke with the senior VP of Human Resources of a Silicon Valley company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I work with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating change in thinking and behavior.

The senior VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and emotional intelligence are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her company to create a high involvement culture where innovation and creativity flourish.

The senior VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and high involvement corporate culture based on trust and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach.

“Trusting relationships are what make the difference between people’s feeling good about what they do and simply going through the motions. Trust is inspiring and energy producing.”
~ Dennis and Michelle Reina, Trust & Betrayal in the Workplace

Organizations are woefully slow to realize the bottom-line implications of trust deficits. Despite trust’s importance, few leaders give it the focus it deserves. Misunderstood as a nebulous “feeling,” trust is earned through consistent, positive behaviors practiced over time, making it ultimately manageable.

 “Trust always affects two outcomes—speed and cost,” confirms leadership guru Stephen M. Covey in The Speed of Trust. “When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up. When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down. It’s that simple, that real, that predictable.”

Trust is one of the essential ingredients to build a great relationship, winning team and a high involvement culture. Without trust you can’t have engaged relationships and without engaged relationships you won’t be a successful leader, manager, sales person, team member, coach, etc.

You can build the trust that is essential for great relationships. The following are eleven ideas to build trust . Feel free to share these simple reminders with your leaders, colleagues and team.

Mindful leaders implement the following tips to build trust:

1. Display character: What do your employees see when they look at you? How do they perceive your values, work ethic, integrity and honesty? Studies consistently cite honesty as managers’ No. 1 attribute—consistently doing what they say they’ll do. When managers act with integrity and reliability, they lay a foundation on which employees can rely.
2. Model competence: Employees place more trust in you when they believe you’re capable of effective leadership. This does not mean you’re the smartest one in the room—a position of superiority that, in fact, undermines perceived competency. Your managerial competency should not be measured by your technical skills, but by your ability to understand and influence people.
3. Show you care: The most neglected ingredient in the trust trinity is the ability to show you care. Employees don’t want to be cogs in a wheel. They want to feel that they matter and their bosses actually care about them as people. Only then can they reciprocate with trust.
4. Open up: During the course of your workday, squeeze in an occasional impromptu conversation with a subordinate about interests other than work, such as children’s activities, restaurants, sports, movies and the like. Share a glimpse into your personal life while taking time to listen.
5. Empathize: Offer brief, personal acknowledgments of significant events in employees’ lives, such as additions to family, marriage, family death and serious illness. Share how a similar event impacted your life without overshadowing the employee’s circumstance.
6.Remain professional: Share information that enhances the work relationship, yet doesn’t harm your reputation. Exercise discretion; avoid over sharing.
7. Go on a walkabout: Walk around the office each day to touch base with individual contributors to your company’s success. While email and group meetings are important, one-on-one “face time” is critical.
8.Capture vital statistics: Learn about each employee’s life: spouse’s name, children’s names and ages, major hobbies. Use questions to elicit meaningful information: “Where are you from?” or “What do you do on your days off?”
9. Find similarities: Instead of focusing on differences, find mutual interests (hobbies, desires, career goals).
10. Ask for ideas and feedback: Trust must already be established for people to be honest with you. Ask what they need to perform their jobs better. Acknowledge that you hear their opinions and will think about what they’ve said. Don’t dismiss or argue the merits of their input; offer a simple and genuine “thanks for sharing that.” 
11. Acknowledge progress and milestones: In many organizations, problems are solved, barriers are surmounted, tasks are completed… and nothing is noted. People crave acknowledgment and recognition, so seize these opportunities to build trust. Celebrate progress. Don’t let it slip by unnoticed.

"We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have a choice." -- The Dalai Lama  

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build relationships built on trust? Resonant leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I have emotional intelligence competence to reinvent myself and grow?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you become a more trustworthy leader. You can become a leader who models emotional and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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