Trust-Building Behavior #2 – Demonstrate Respect

The Second Trust-Building Behavior  – Demonstrate Respect

The second trust-building behavior is “demonstrate respect.”  How does demonstrating respect build trust?  This is a good place to stop and consider your definition of trust.  Trust is one of the pillars of relationship — with anyone — with clients, co-workers, spouses, bosses, children and self.  If it is a strong pillar, it will strengthen relationships and if it is not, it will weaken them.

Many people consider trust to be based only on keeping agreements and telling the truth.  But when you examine the 13 behaviors of trust-building, you will see that trust involves a much broader range of activities than whether you (or someone else) is reliable.  Webster’s Dictionary defines “trust,” as “total confidence in the integrity, ability, and good character of another.”  “Integrity” is defined as “firm adherence to a code or standard of values” and “the quality or condition of being undivided…”  As such, trust really involves the whole of a person; not just their ability to keep their word, but also whether they live a set of values.  It also involves the idea of character.  And this is where respect comes in.

Consider, for example, whether someone who is disrespectful and unkind toward you is a person you are likely to stay in relationship with, even if they do keep all their agreements.  This applies to relationships both business and personal.  Trust is multi-faceted.  If you believe your clients will do business with you simply because you show up on time and do what you say, even though you speak rudely to them or treat the waiter badly at lunch, you may be surprised.

When we show respect to others we build trust with them and with those around us who experience us as respectful.  Respect can be defined in many ways.  For instance, consider your tone of voice.  Do people trust you more or less if you yell at them than if you speak in a kind and gentle manner?

Notice how you listen when others speak – do you give them your full attention?  Imagine how they feel toward you if you are attentive and curious about what they are saying.  Respectful listening will not only build trust with others, but will cause them to listen to you as well.  And if you do not listen or are not respectful when they speak, they will soon not want to talk to you or to listen to what you have to say.  This is an aspect of trust that has to do with trusting others with your feelings and your thoughts, and trusting that they will listen to you sincerely and fully.  It is again, a type of trust that most people do not think about.  This aspect of trust is not about whether you keep your agreements.  It is an aspect of trust that is about whether people want to interact with you, spend time with you, open up to you, hire you, and refer clients to you.  Kindness and respect have the effect of drawing people to you, making them want to be around you, be in relationship with you.  This is trust.  Think about how this behavior will transform your business; your family.

Take some time and consider what respect means to you.  How do you show your respect to others?  Take a moment and look honestly at yourself.  Observe your behaviors.  Even if you believe you typically act with respect, raise the bar on yourself and be more respectful.

Suggestions about respect:

  • If you are in business and someone sends you a referral, send them a thank you note.
  • Acknowledge people for what you see them do.  Do this at work and at home.
  • Treat people kindly even when they can do nothing for you.
  • Learn people’s names, including the waiter and the janitor.
  • Send notes of concern.
  • Practice random actions of kindness.

It all builds trust.

With ourselves:

Treat yourself with respect.  This will build trust with you.  Whether you can trust others is directly related to your ability to trust yourself.  And by the same token, people are more likely to trust you if you trust yourself.  When you trust yourself, you generate a level of trustworthiness that others people experience.

Don’t beat yourself up over what you perceive as weaknesses or mistakes.  Treat yourself with as much love as you would anyone else.  Don’t expect more of yourself than you would expect of any other human being in your situation.  Give yourself a break.  Take care of yourself.  All of these are activities that will build trust with yourself – that will allow you to know that you can count on you.  It may sound trite or clichéd, but the truth is that trust begins with you.

What else can you think of that will demonstrate 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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