Trust plays an important role in the manager’s relationships with his or her employees. Given the importance of trust, today’s managers should actively seek to develop it within their work group.
You can be more effective at developing trust among your employees if you use the following eight suggestions:
- Practice openness
Mistrust comes as much from what people don’t know as from what they do. Being open with employees’ leads to confidence and trust. Keep people informed. Make clear the criteria you use in making decisions. Explain the rationale for your decisions. Be forthright and candid about problems. Fully disclose all relevant information.
- Be fair
Before making decisions or taking actions, consider how others will perceive them in terms of objectivity and fairness. Give credit where credit is due. Be objective and impartial in performance appraisals. Pay attention to equity perceptions in distributing rewards.
- Speak your feelings
Managers who convey only hard facts come across as cold, distant, and unfeeling. When you share your feelings, others will see that you are real and human. They will know you for who you are and their respect for you is likely to increase.
- Tell the truth
Being trustworthy means being credible. If honesty is critical to credibility, then you must be perceived as someone who tells the truth. Employees are more tolerant of hearing something “they don’t want to hear” than of finding out that their manager lied to them.
- Be consistent
People want predictability. Mistrust comes from not knowing what to expect. Take the time to think about your values and beliefs and let those values and beliefs consistently guide your decisions. When you know what’s important to you, your actions will follow, and you will project a consistent behavior that earns trust.
- Fulfill your promises
Trust requires that people believe that you are dependable. You need to ensure that you keep your word. Promises made must be promises kept.
- Maintain confidences
You trust those whom you believe to be discreet and those on whom you can rely. If people open up to you and make themselves vulnerable by telling you something in confidence, they need to feel assured you won’t discuss it with others or betray their confidence. If people perceive you as someone who lack personal confidence or someone who can’t be depended on, you’ve lost their trust.
- Demonstrate competence
Develop the admiration and respect of others by demonstrating technical and professional ability. Pay particular attention to developing and displaying your communication, negotiation, and other interpersonal skills.