Understanding Others and Building Trust

WRITTEN September 15, 2022 Author: Patricia McCormack

Today the focus is going to be about building trust through understanding the style and the behaviors of co-workers, direct reports, and supervisors.

We have talked before about developing deeper rapport. As a leader, it is important to create a bond, a rapport, a relationship with the people you are leading.

Here are some steps necessary to approach and build trust in others:

Understand Yourself To Better Relate With Others

Gaining self knowledge is a skill. It is not easy but it is definitely worth the effort to learn. We need understanding to communicate effectively. However, it is more difficult to figure out others, if you don’t know yourself in the first place. Learn about your attitudes, beliefs, and values and how they influence your decisions. Use that to see the perspective of other people, to know their attitudes, beliefs, and values. With that knowledge comes understanding.

Ask Questions To Avoid Misunderstanding

People want to be heard, not just told. When you ask someone a question, and they respond, they are thinking and engaging. Listening skills are priceless for building trust. Engaged people are always growing, developing, and learning. And if you are a leader, isn’t it better to make sure the right questions get answered, instead of only providing your answer? Only through questions and open communication will you get the whole answer and clarity.

Notice Body Language

Pay attention to non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and hand gestures. Notice your own body language, as well as that of others. Eye contact, good posture, and smiling go a long way to making people feel confident and more trusting.

”What is in it for me?“

In every relationship there is give and take on the road to building trust. Of course each party has their own needs, and wants their own results from every interaction. Trust and rapport is built when each party is accepting and supportive of the needs of the other.

You want the staff to work overtime? What is in it for them? Greater success? Overtime pay?
You need a client to pay extra for a service? What are they getting for that increase?

Make sure to communicate benefits for their actions.

It is important to not to miss those opportunities to build and grow trust in the workplace. Strive to understand your own actions so that you may better interpret and navigate the actions and motivations of others. Use listening and observation skills to strengthen relationships and you will see results.

This information is from the Improving Communications Leadership and Staff Development training classes curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your overall communication skills, register for one of our upcoming public classes.

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