Whether it’s our relationships with co-workers, friends, our spouse, or even our kids, we all want to build trust with the most important people in our lives. Every relationship is different, but there are some key ways to build trust that can benefit any relationship and set you up for success with the most important people in your life.
1. Be Reliable
The best way to build trust is to start by being trustworthy with your actions. We all know that person in our lives who is dependable and always follows through with what they say they’re going to do. Try to live your life like that person! When the people in your life learn that you’ll follow through with the things you commit to, they’ll start to trust and rely on you more.
2. Communicate Truth with Grace
This trust-building tool revolves around two important points: being honest and being kind. Honesty is a foundation of trust—we all want to know that we’re being told the truth, even if it’s not always easy to hear. But the way that honesty is presented also matters. Be intentional about communicating the truth in a graceful way, staying respectful and thinking about the other person’s perspective as you do. When people know they’ll get honesty and respect from you, they’ll be more likely to trust you both personally and professionally.
3. Put Others First
In a time where it feels like everyone is focusing on themselves, choosing to think of other people first will make you stand out in a good way. When you take the opportunity to care for others even when it’s not necessarily convenient for you, you’re showing that you will go above and beyond what’s expected of you in favor of others’ needs. And when people learn that about you, they'll remember it in the future when they’re considering your character.
4. Do the Right Thing
This one may seem simple, but it’s extremely effective. Most of the time, we know what the right decision looks like, but circumstances, time constraints, or even laziness can keep us from making it. Make it a point to strive to do the right thing every time, no matter what it takes. It may not be something that everyone notices right away, but if you’re consistent, others will start to notice your integrity shining through.
5. Admit When You Did the Wrong Thing
On the flip side, everyone makes mistakes, and a big part of building trust is to own when that happens. No one should expect anyone to be perfect, but admitting fault goes a long way, especially when you’re in a leadership role (at work or at home). Do your best to do the right thing, but when it doesn’t happen, be ready to talk through the aftermath of what really happened and what you learned for the next time.
Building trust takes time, but each one of us has the capability to do it and do it well. The next time you find yourself in a relationship that needs some extra trust built, choose one of these 5 focuses and work on it. As long as you’re leading with sincerity and authenticity, you’ll watch the trust begin to grow.