Monday, December 10, 2012

Building Trust

I just read the blog post "Eight Actions Determine If You Can Be Trusted" on the blog Leaders to Leader.
The author Timothy F. Bednarz points out that:
  • Promises & Commitments
  • Mistakes
  • Loyalty
  • Information
  • Involvment
  • Recognition
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
are all concepts that create trust.  He inspired me to actually think what an action might be that we could do immediately might look like. Individually, these are aspirational qualities that can take years to evolve. Perfection doesn't have to be the goal - so what might the first steps look like? What might we do today?
Promises & Commitments
  • Offer someone an introduction, an article or an hour of your time and follow up within 30 minutes of getting back to your desk/home.
  • Thank someone who recently met a commitment (personal or professional) for you.
  • Call someone you have been avoiding due to a missed or impending deadline and confess your tardiness/reluctance and renegotiate.
  • Acknowledge if you've been less than supportive of a present program (see Mistakes) and talk about the pieces that do excite you at an upcoming team meeting.
  • Call out a staff member for a behaviour that demonstrate best-in-class for something you, yourself, are striving towards.
  • Forward a relevant email from your manager or peer, with a one-two line summary of how you hope folks will read the attached.
  • Before responding to a problem, first ask questions - and listen to the answers.
  • Identify a deadline with someone to whom you've delegated something. Ask them to give you the dates when they'll expect you to review actions/information with them. Then resist the urge to check in with them the day before the dates they already committed to following up with you ;-)
  • Thank someone who assisted you recently and cc their manager.
  • Book a coffee with a colleague - and make it clear the latte is on you!
  • At your next team meeting, start off by asking folks what one thing was effective/not effective at work last week. Build a list of actionable items and take some of them on yourself.
  • Have you manager come speak with your team about his/her 'view from the top'. It doesn't have to be about any 'news' so much as what the week behind and the week ahead is bringing to the senior tables.
Respect Confidentiality
* While this one seems obvious for the big picture, it's also important in the day-to-day.
  • Use BCC as little as possible - it becomes part of your reputation. When you do use it, let the BCC list know as not everyone looks where their name is on an email and can "reply all" very easily.
  •  Ask folks how they like to be recognized (public? quiet? etc.)  as well as their preferred style of communication (email? face-to-face? phone? etc.)  Supporting someone in their choices can build trust and show respect.

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