As we are looking at the 3 legs of the relationship stool, let’s begin with trust.  Here are 13 behaviors that will build trust, with some ideas how to use them.  What do you think?  Questions?  Where do you see that you do this in your life and where do you not consider these behaviors?  How do you know if you are building trust or breaking trust?

1.  Talk Straight

Tell it like it is.  Don’t beat around the bush.

  • Leaving the right impression means communicating so clearly that you cannot be misunderstood.
  • Use simple language.

2.  Demonstrate Respect

  • Behave in ways that show fundamental respect for people – honor the intrinsic worth of others.
  • Behave in ways that demonstrate caring and concern.

3.  Create Transparency

  • Be open and honest about your motives and decisions.
  • Tell the truth in a way people can verify.
  • Don’t hide weaknesses or faults; face them and deal with them directly.
  • Err on the side of disclosure.

4.  Right Wrongs

  • Admit your mistakes and make restitution when you can
  • Action steps:  look in your past – are there wrongs that haven’t been righted?  What can you do now?
  • Forgive – make it easy for others to right their wrongs.
  • Apologize quickly.

5.  Show Loyalty

  • Speak about others as if they were present.
  • Give credit.
  • Don’t disclose others’ private information.

6.  Deliver Results

  • Set goals and make them happen.
  • Distinguish delivering activities from delivering results.
  • Ask yourself ahead of time if the commitment is realistic – underpromise and overdeliver.

7.  Get Better

  • Set aside time in your life to constantly improve your capabilities.
  • If you aren’t making mistakes, you are not pushing yourself enough to truly improve.
  • Tony Robbins calls it CANI – Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.

8.  Confront Reality

  • Don’t live in denial or keep your head in the sand.
  • Face what needs to be faced and move on with courage and hope.
  • Engage in and engender open communication with others.  Say what you are seeing.

9.  Clarify Expectations

  • Be clear about what others expect of you.
  • Don’t agree unless you are clear you can meet those expectations.

10.  Practice Accountability

  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • When you don’t keep your agreements, own up to it, in communication with the person you made the agreement to, without telling stories or making excuse or blaming others.
  • See what you can learn from the experience.
  • Tell them what you will do differently next time.

11.  Listen First

  • Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
  • If a person is communicating with high emotion, they don’t feel understood.
  • A person will not ask for advice until they feel understood.

12.  Keep Commitments

  • Make commitments carefully.
  • Write them down.
  • Keep them.
  • Own up when you do not.

13.  Extend Trust

  • People will act how you expect them to act.  When you trust them, they are far more likely to be trustworthy.
  • When you trust others, they are more likely to trust you.
  • Have a propensity to trust.
  • Don’t withhold trust because there is risk involved.

Adapted from Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust.

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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