We often talk about how vital trust is but are we really trustworthy? Of course, we would all like to think of ourselves as moral, but it’s possible our actions don’t express that. It doesn’t mean we’re not good people; it just means that perhaps we must look closely at how we appear to others by rethinking some of our actions.
Credibility in the workplace is one of the most critical attributes. When you are considered trustworthy, it plays a role in how people treat you.
- Your boss will be more open to listening to thoughts when they know your intentions are for the company's betterment. And this may give you more flexibility in how you desire to work with much less micromanagement.
- Your colleagues will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and working more closely as a team toward a common goal.
How Do I Demonstrate Trustworthiness?
First, let’s look at the definition of trust, as outlined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
One in which confidence is placed
While keeping the definition in mind, let’s review some ways you can take an active approach to improve how others perceive us.
To follow is an example where an employee was trying to shift the blame when he forgot to perform a task.
“Don’t blame me. I wasn’t aware that I was responsible for sending the agenda to the board meeting.”
The employee should have said something like, “I apologize, it completely slipped my mind, and I will do my best to ensure it does not happen again.” There may be some consequences to him forgetting (i.e., being reprimanded by his boss), but there will automatically be a higher level of trust because of his honesty.
If You Say You'll Do It, Do It
We make promises and commit to things all the time, whether at work, at home, or among friends. In certain situations, it’s easy to say yes to end a conversation or make yourself look like the “star.” However, don’t accept the responsibility if you have any clue that you cannot fulfill that commitment. Others rely on you, and when you make a promise you cannot keep, others may begin to exclude you from activities where it’s crucial to have reliable people. And when this happens at work, it may mean fewer growth opportunities.
Don't Make Excuses
One of the most attractive traits in a person is when they’re able to admit that they’re wrong. It happens, whether intentional or not. If you discover you made a mistake about something you said, “fess up” and say you’re mistaken. Many take the easy route and try to justify why they’re wrong, but that takes more effort than admitting you make a mistake. It demonstrates integrity, and you’ll get more respect.
Be Clear in Your Expectations
Miscommunication is often the most problematic in the workplace. It’s either because the person relaying the information is an inadequate communicator or the person on the other end is a poor listener.
If you’re the communicator, make sure what you’re dispatching is clear. And don’t make the mistake of dispatching only part of the information while the rest remains in your head.
If you’re on the receiving end, take the time, listen, and allow the other person to talk. And, it’s your responsibility to answer questions if you’re unclear. If you truly listen, the communicator will answer many of your questions in the initial instructions.
It's In the Small Actions
You’ve finished your immediate work and have some time on your hands. It’s easy to jump on social media or just wait for the work day to end. Instead, ask your boss, or co-worker, if you can assist with something else. And, IMPORTANT, if you help a co-worker, don’t run to your boss or others to tell them. The behind-the-scenes help goes much further as you’ll be known for being supportive without asking for anything in return.