Cultivating Trust

Who do you trust?

That seems like a relatively simple question. Answers are likely to be spouses, loved ones, friends, and even in some cases co-workers. I guess the follow-up should really be trust to do what? For the purposes of this blog we will focus on the business side of this question (although our personal feelings often inform and direct our interactions). To be successful at your job you must rely on others to perform tasks that support your own. It is rare that you will ever see a project go from birth to end of life cycle without peer interaction. You may design something that gets handed of to engineering for manufacturing and marketing for branding. So the question of who to trust really begins with how to trust. How can I be sure that my goals and vision will be advocated by those who handle the work at various stages of the process. Well you will never have a guarantee, but through clear communication and a reciprocal exchange you can cultivate an environment of trust.

Always be clear about your goals and intentions. As you invite others to be advocates of your cause, be mindful that you may be expected to return the favor at some point. When it is your turn do your best to understand the goals. Be a good steward of resources (time, money, effort). If you show that you are a responsible steward you are more likely to be shown the same consideration in return. When someone performs for you go out of your way to pay it back or pay it forward. Be gracious and give credit where credit is due. If you conduct your business with a “do unto others” approach you will find greater success as you will transform those within your immediate sphere of influence into trusted peers. If you make a habit of rewarding loyalty with loyalty you will find that your network of trust will always be growing.

So I guess the real question is who trusts you? When you know the answer to that you are almost there. It is critical that you continue to invest in these trusted relationships. Do the work and you will be rewarded.

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