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Tip 161: Trust-Building Behaviors

“Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create — much faster than you probably think possible.” –Stephen M. R. Covey, The Speed of Trust

An important job of leaders is to motivate and engage team members to meet performance goals. Are you doing what it takes so team members can say, “I am on a winning team doing meaningful work in an environment of trust?”

Reflect on these three top trust-building behaviors.

1. Being truly open about, and when appropriate, accommodating of your team members’ lives outside of work.

  • Ask questions about a person outside interests.

  • Check in when team members are burdened with stress and/or challenge.

  • Make it easy for people to take time off or adjust their work when unexpected hardships hit.

  • Remind people of their workplace benefits.

2. Gracefully step in when team members are the target of someone else’s frustrations.

  • Remain calm.

  • Gather information instead of jumping to conclusions.

  • Accept responsibility for the extent you were involved and/or provide cover.

3. Recognize and appreciate your team’s and team member’s work, even in the smallest ways.

  • Express appreciation often and make sure it is specific and meaningful.

  • Recognize big and small milestones.

  • Redirect praise that gets heaped on and/or always directed toward you.

Some behaviors seem simple or rather mundane; others might be more challenging. Your only obstacle might be forgetting to do them. Whatever behaviors you choose, all are feasible and worth the effort.


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