In our personal and professional lives, trust is the glue that can either make or break a relationship. In business, trust can make you a better worker, a better manager and more valuable to your customers.
Author and Clarion Enterprises founder Bruna Martinuzzi offers advice to help you build trust in your business relationships.
• Listen. Be there for your co-workers, clients and customers by hearing what they have to say and listening to their needs. Always remember that people come before profits.
• Be better. Your customers and staff members are continuously evolving, so to keep up with their shifting needs, companies must evolve their practices and products. That means always working to improve offerings, from customer service and products to employee programs.
• Start within. Trust starts within companies. An organization that harps on mistakes and promotes competition among co-workers will create an environment of separation, inevitably destroying trust among employees. Instead, foster a positive environment that makes everyone feel safe.
• Walk the talk. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Nothing communicates trust like a person who keeps her promises and delivers on her word. If you can’t keep a promise, maintain integrity by immediately explaining yourself to the person you made that promise to.
• Commit to consistency. You need to practice self-control and develop the emotional intelligence to keep yourself on an even keel. Bad moods spread fast and employees will always be on edge if they never know how you will treat them or react when problems arise.
• Look for a win-win. Avoid right-versus-wrong thinking and instead try to bring about a win-win situation for customers and employees when conflicts arise. Go the extra mile to make people feel valued and that value will fall back on you.
• Keep learning. Seek out resources on building trust and becoming a better leader. This will help you to grow and to build on your credibility and reliability.
— Adapted from “7 Ways To Build Trust At Work,” Bruna Martinuzzi, American Express Open Forum.