Build Trust and Credibility in the Workplace

 In Develop & Coach

Build Trust and Credibility in the Workplace

Q: I have a problem! I’m a new Sales leader and I get the feeling that my co-workers (who now have to take instructions from me) don’t feel that I’m capable or that they can trust me to make good decisions. How do I fix that? How do I build trust and credibility in the workplace?

A: First of all, don’t feel that you’re alone. Many people newly promoted into lead or supervisory positions have this uncertainty. If you are asking yourself if your co-workers, leaders and direct reports trust you, you are on the right track. It means that you care; you recognize that there might be an issue, and that you want to build trust and credibility in the workplace. This is a huge step. And remember, if you’ve been promoted, someone felt you earned it or was willing to take a chance on you to become successful. So let’s talk about what you can do to prove them right and build that credibility.

The second thing for you to wrap your head around is that there is no easy “fix”. Too bad, right? Gaining the confidence of your team is not an overnight exercise. It takes time. So a word of advice to everyone out there—if you ever want to truly be respected as a trustworthy leader or co-worker—start being mindful of your behaviors NOW.

Here are five behaviors you can work on to build trust and credibility in the workplace:

  • Be a role model. Always set a good example. Don’t ever use that old cliché of “Do as I say, not as I do.” People respect someone willing to walk the talk.
  • Make it a point to keep your commitments. Overpromising and failing to deliver are surefire ways to destroy your credibility quickly. I know it’s tough, but this is worth focusing on to ensure you gain the confidence of your team.
  • Don’t lie. Always tell the truth. Of course, there will be times when you aren’t able to share information with others due to confidentiality concerns or even legal reasons. So it’s better to say to someone, “I can’t discuss that” or “I can’t answer that question”, than it is to lie or make something up. The first time you’re caught in a lie, your credibility will be in question forever.
  • Treat people fairly. In order to gain trust, you must have the best interests of the team at heart and treat everyone fairly and equitably. Be careful that you are not showing favoritism toward anyone.
  • Admit your mistakes. Be human. You don’t have to be perfect (big secret here—no one is!) You just have to be upfront and honest about your mistakes. Make it okay for your team to make small mistakes and admit to them so everyone can learn from them and move forward.

Take advantage of every opportunity to communicate effectively with your team. Don’t wait until you think you have all the answers to talk to your team.

Communication is an important building block to build trust and credibility in the workplace.

Before long, you’ll be developing strong relationships with your co-workers, managers and staff. Good luck!

If you need even more help, join our HR Coaching Inner Circle and we’ll help you build on this skill.

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