By Neil Graber
Starting by combining your feelings of self-worth and purpose, you can generate the emotional strength to extend yourself outward to others. The emotional feeling continues from knowing you can count on yourself, the fact you can count on others, and the fact others will also count on you.
Trust is a special relationship flowing back and forth between two individuals where each individual can feel the other person understands them, knows who they really are, and what really matters to them. In addition, you must feel the other individual really cares about you and will consider your needs, wishes and desires when making decisions impacting them. Having trust in your relationship, will aid in bringing success to personal and business relationships. Here are some ways to build these qualities into our relationships:
Be sincere – if you can’t be honest with yourself and others, the best advice is to not even try to gain trust with another. Continue to be cordial and leave it at that. Most people are perceptive enough to see through your statements and actions when you are merely pretending to trust. Insincere efforts do not lead to success in any form.
Notice what matters to others – attempt to see the world through the eyes of others and how their mind works with that information. Look for their eyes to light up, for their posture to change, or for the excitement in their voice as signs of what is important to them. Look beneath the surface and experience what is going on from their viewpoint. Then make note of it, as that is important to that individual. In addition, make the person feel important for who and what they are as an individual.
Listening – pausing for a second or two and taking a breath before speaking increases empathy, patience and curiosity. This allows time and creates a signal to the other that you are genuinely prepared to listen to what they will say. Repeat back a portion of what they say to ensure understanding on your part as well as to demonstrate you are listening.
Do not criticize – keep your comments on the positive side. Should it be necessary to confront and deal with an issue, phrase your questions in order to have the other individual recognize the situation in your eyes and allow them to offer a solution.
Be respectful of time – although we each have the same amount each day, it’s what we do with it that counts. Each of us has different ideas regarding the use of our time. Use your interaction with others to enhance the ability to accomplish their tasks, but not to the extent to prevent them from the ability to work on them.
Create a win-win situation – look for opportunities to allow others to advance and move forward in their understanding, knowledge or work/business environment. As others gain steps toward success as a result of your efforts, you will create additional trust.
Be an example – demonstrate that your actions support your words. Be the example for others to look to and to follow. How you handle yourself in good times and in bad will impact the respect and trust others will have for you.
Who are you when no one else is looking – it’s easy to hold ourselves accountable for our actions when we know others are watching, but what about when no one is around? It is in those moments when our integrity and character will show. Yet somehow, even if no one is currently watching when we make a slip or take a fall, others eventually find out if we hold ourselves to different standards.
Do what you promise – deliver what you promise or let others know where you are in your efforts to meet your promise. Over-deliver on each opportunity available.
Be supportive – at times an individual just needs a person to stand beside them or a shoulder to cry on. In times like this, just being there and offering kind and supporting words will make a tremendous impact on the individual and their ability to deal with the situation they are encountering.
Be positive – smile, and work to present the sunny side of a situation. It is much easier to be around individuals who are positive and happy then those who only spout negative and are always a grump.
Act as a servant – this can be demonstrated in an external and internal way. In an external way you can offer your skills, expertise, and assistance to meet a need of the individual. In an internal way, it is how you respond, the energy you display when offering and performing the external activities that really counts. Even in a position of leadership or responsibility over another, you can still act in a way as to not interject “I’m your boss” in the relationship. If you are peers, work to position yourself and your comments so your are not presenting yourself in a superior way over others.
When working to add trust to a relationship, the least important word to use is “I”. Trust comes with the focus on the other individual and not on you. Trust may be achieved over a period of time, yet it can be destroyed in one quick moment with a few words or wrong action. As humans we may fail others or ourselves at times, but when we do, our next actions or words play a large role in determining our success in restoring the amount of trust and credibility we have lost. We cannot act as if nothing has happened, but can ask for forgiveness and move forward as best we can. We may never regain the trust we had, but how we handle ourselves will demonstrate both our character and integrity.