Building Professional & Personal Trust

Effectiveness Consulting

Building Professional & Personal Trust

Trust is essential if you are to have a productive relationship with someone. Trust is one of those black & white issues – you either trust someone – or you don’t. You don’t trust people ‘a bit’. If you’re working in a team or as someone’s boss or subordinate, trust is really important for getting results without having to invest a huge amount of additional time in second-guessing everything they do.

Think of someone you have a relationship with - a business partner, colleague, employer, a client or someone in your personal life. Focus on that relationship. For each statement below score your relationship from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

1) I am a trusting person

2) I trust myself to get the job done if that's what I've promised to do

3) I feel my trust level right now with [name of person] is very strong

4) I’m less concerned about past dealings with [name], than about what we will do from now

5) I feel confident demanding accountability from [name of person]

After you've responded add up your ratings. This number will be in the range 5-25.

Interpretation: Each statement addresses a different aspect of trust or partnering.

1) I am a trusting person is about general trust & how you approach the world, new people/situations/opportunities.

2) I trust myself to get the job done if that's what I've promised to do is about self-confidence.

Do you trust yourself to follow through/keep your word? (Also determines your trustworthiness in other people's eyes)

3) I feel that my trust level right now with [name] is very strong is about trusting another. If your trust level is low, discuss your concerns with him or her. Does your lack of trust involve something he or she did/did not do? Focus on specific behaviour, not what motivated the behaviour. Avoid judgments about honesty, integrity, or ethics.

4) I’m less concerned about my past dealings with [name] than about what we will do from now is about your past/future orientation. Relying on past history for decision-making removes the possibility for change & destroys trust. When we rely on mutual vision & strategic planning for decision-making, trust increases.

5) I feel confident demanding accountability from [name] is about your willingness to confront the person. Can you be open, honest & direct with him or her? The more straightforward you are, the more trust you will build.

Ask yourself:

black What am I currently doing to build or destroy trust in my relationship with [name]?

black What did [name] do recently to build or destroy trust between us?

black Did I have to hide something from [name] today?

black Did I communicate trust to [name]?

black Prepare what you would like [name] to do?” (Be as behaviourally specific as possible)

Next Steps: Communication is the key. “Seek first to understand” (Covey 1989)

black Consider how they feel – where they are at/coming from

black Ask “What can I do, specifically, to increase the level of trust in our relationship?

black Ask “What can you, [name] do to specifically, to increase the level of trust in our relationship?”

black How you are both going to take stock? Agree how you will both give behavioural feedback

Action Plan: Once you have talked this through agree to try out some new behaviours…

black Consider the specific situation, such as historic baggage; current pressures; the environment; or timing issues

black Be realistic about the change that is possible & be supportive…behavioural change can be tough!

Create a three-point action plan listing what each of you will do to improve your trust relationship & commit to following through. Don’t forget to book a time, date & place to discuss how things are going & give & get sensitive feedback.

Relationships will get stronger when you actively build trust.

References adapted from :

Dent SM. (2004) Partnering Intelligence: Creating Value for Your Business by Building Strong Alliances Nicholas Brealey. Boston MA USA 7
Stephen Covey (1995) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. Free Press, New York NY USA.

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If you are interested in expanding you, your team & your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067. Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation & Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public & Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

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