It Takes Time

One thing that is critical… if you want to achieve great results… is for people who work with you to trust you.

We all know whom we trust… and whom we do not trust.  Sometimes we are not even sure why we don’t trust someone.

Building trust takes time and patience.  People in general build trust over time by their behaviors.  If their behaviors are ethical and honest over a long period of time, then people usually say, “I trust them.”

We all find ourselves in uncomfortable situations from time to time where we have to make a personal decision whether to do the right thing or not.

I often tell people that you need to figure out now what you stand for so that when a compromising situation occurs in your business or personal life you will instantly do and say the right thing.  This is not always easy because sometimes you are taking on your leader, and sometimes you are taking on some important person in the community.

It is true that short-term difficulties can come to pass for you when you do the right thing—but in the long haul, you will be the winner.

We all have reputations, and we are pretty much responsible for them.  Our actions and behaviors create our reputation.

I have told you before that Priscilla has told me often to “Be careful what you say and do today, Lee.  They are watching you and judging you.”

This is great advice for every single person in the world.  Your fellow employees are watching, your friends are watching, your kids are watching, your associates in organizations are watching.  Even total strangers are watching, so be careful what you say and do.

Reputations can change—but this takes time.

Being an honest communicator is one of the keys to being trusted.  Telling the truth is not always easy; but it not only makes people trust you, it helps others correct their own behaviors, so you are actually helping them . . . and that should make you feel good.

Make sure that you are organized so when you commit to something or make a promise, you follow up and keep that promise.  Why you don’t keep your commitments and promises does not matter.  You may say I forgot . . . but for the other people in your life, that translates to not trusting you.

Tell people what your ethical standards and expectations are.  Openly talk about your ethics, and you will find that people will not put you in a compromising situation in the first place.

When people demonstrate their own high ethical standards and integrity to you, make sure that you congratulate them for their courage.  When you can do it in public—that is even better.  It is a great lesson for the individual and for groups.  People learn from real-life examples.

One way to really build trust is to admit your mistakes.  We are not perfect, and we are going to make judgment mistakes.  If you say something inappropriate, quickly say, “I am sorry that I said that.  It was wrong, and I apologize.”  People love to forgive others if they will just admit their mistakes.

Be authentic.  Be yourself.  Don’t try to act like something you are not.  Don’t put on airs.  Everyone sees through this nonsense.  Respect confidentiality.  People will know whether you can keep your mouth shut and keep confidential information to yourself.  People who are insecure like to go around revealing confidential information to make them feel more important.  You have a reputation already in this area.  The better you are at it, the more you will be trusted—and the more people will seek you out to keep you informed of the truth.

Be available for people who need you.  The word will get out that you care and you are available to help others.  Use your authority and position to help others.

Over time you will either be a person who is trusted or one that is not trustworthy.  This is a big deal and can make or break your career and relationships in your personal life.

It takes a long time to build trust and one second to lose it!

Have a great week out there, and remember to be careful what you say and do as they are watching you and judging you.  Remember also that people are either saying good things or bad things about you behind your back!   . . . Lee

2 Comments
  1. If one manages his business in and personal life in an honest, ethical and professional manner why does he /she need to be careful about what they say or do? Won’t their actions and dialog represent them as they are? It’s the dishonest and unethical that have to be careful?

  2. Building Trust — How about Relevant Vulnerability. Admiting to myself and others that I do not know everything. Then, put a knowleageable team in place who do have expertise in areas where I have weakness.

    Jim

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