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Building Trust: Top 10 Dos and Don'ts
by Kim Olver

Trust has become a big issue in the world of work. Whenever I am called in to do consulting in the workplace, often I discover some version of lack of trust in the center of the issue. Business people are asking the question, "How can I build trust with my workers, shareholders and community"? Sometimes the question is, "How can I rebuild the trust I lost"?

1. Be transparent. Make sure that you let people around you know your thinking on things. Don't leave them wondering what your motivation is--tell them.

2. When you say you are going to do something, do it. If you put your word on something, follow through. Even if you promised something by a certain time and due to circumstances beyond your control, you can't deliver, contact the person and explain the situation. Don't just wait until you can deliver. Keep people informed at every step.

3. Never say something behind someone's back you wouldn't say directly to that person. Stephen Covey talks about defending those not present by not engaging in gossip and actually defending a person's character and motives when he or she is unavailable to do it himself.

4. Let people know what you stand for, what you will do and won't do in certain situations and then proceed to do exactly as you said you would.

5. Demonstrate consistency. Your people need to know you have a level of predictability. In order to gain trust, it is good if others can predict with relatively accuracy and certainty what your response will be in a given situation.

6. Make decisions consistent with your value system. If your value is honesty, you must be honest. Don't decide being honest can be situational depending upon circumstances. If your value is kindness, don't be mean to certain folks while being kind to those you deem deserve it.

7. Allow people to question you and your motives without becoming defensive. Answer questions honestly until people are satisfied or you decide to agree to disagree. Tell others your hierarchy of priorities so they can understand and trust your decision-making processes.

8. Do not ask people to do things you, yourself, would not do. Explain the usefulness of what you ask others to do.

9. Demonstrate competence in your areas of expertise and continuously improve your knowledge, skills and abilities so people can know you are good and constantly improving at what you do.

10. Demonstrate through actions that you care about your relationships with your people. Listen to and respect them. Acknowledge their strengths and seek their advice on things about which they are knowledgeable. Extend trust to your people. Don't micro manage. Let them know you have faith in their abilities and trust them to do what's best.

Demonstrating these behaviors will go a long way in building trust with others. Trust is an inside out job. You must search inside yourself and decide what type of person you want to be and then engage in the behaviors that will prove this is indeed who you are.

Kim Olver may be contacted at

Kim Olver is a life and relationship coach. Her mission is to help people get along better with the important people in their lives, including themselves. She teaches people how to live from the inside out by empowering them to focus on the things they can change. She in an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia, Europe and Africa, as well as all over the United States and Canada. She is the creator of the new, revolutionary process called, Inside Out Empowerment based on Dr. William Glasser's Choice Theory. She is a public speaker and provides workshops in the areas of relationships, parenting, and a variety of self-growth topics. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the forthcoming book, Secrets of Successful Relationships. She co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She works with individuals, couples, parents, social service agencies, schools, corporations and the military--anyone who will benefit from gaining more effective control over their lives. She has consulted on relationships, parenting, self-development, training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles.



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