People won’t trust anyone they don’t respect first. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Oh, yuck – What a dink”? (And I don’t mean Double Income No Kids.) You didn’t know why – you just knew that there was something about that person you didn’t like. But, after you spent some time with them, and got to know them better, did you ever change your mind? Building relationships and establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with is crucial to your overall success as a manager and business leader. Trust matters – Without it you have nothing. Once you lose the trust and confidence of your team mates – you lose your ability to manage and lead them.
Worth Remembering … “If you want to be interesting – you first must be interested.” – Dale Carnegie
Trust and respect do not come automatically just because you’ve been given a title. You must earn both, one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationships and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through when meeting someone for the very first time. Some people will go through these steps more quickly than others. But it’s a journey that everyone has to go on. A close friend of mine is great at this. She can meet someone for the very first time and within minutes they are carrying on a conversation as if they have known each other for ever. People just naturally open up to her. She is also great at remembering names. (I have to admit I’m not so good at this) Think how powerful it would be if you could remember someone’s name, their children’s names, their birthdays and interests and you were able to remember them and use it in a conversation.
The 3 R’s – Building Relationships to Last
Step One: Rapport. The first step is to build rapport. Find out something about the other person other than the job that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them on a subject that they enjoy talking about. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to develop rapport. You can’t take the next step without first establishing rapport.
Step Two: Relationships. The second step in establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with are relationships. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that people choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people on your team. People like to work with and hang out with people they like. No one wants to let a friend down. A recent Gallop survey revealed that companies with less than 10 employees or small teams within the organization have the most committed workers.
Step Three: Respect. The final step in establishing trust is respect. Always keep in mind that people won’t respect anyone they haven’t built a relationship with first. Respect is reciprocal. Try this little experiment. The next time you go into a shopping mall or office building that has a double set of doors – open the first set of doors for the people behind you. I will bet you that someone within that group will hold the second door open for you. Respect works the same way. If you give it – you’ll get it – but you must give it first. People feel obligated to return the favor. It’s part of our DNA.
Worth Remembering … “Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living.” – Barbara Smith
If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with your team. Without mutual trust and respect, your team will abandon you and you will eventually fail. You might be able to bully them into doing things they don’t want to do in the short-term but, it will come around to bite you in the end. (Pun intended) What goes around comes around. Having trouble establishing trust? Try my 3-step process and let me know how things work out. – 🙂
Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or training session on soft-skills or leadership development? DM me – Let’s talk. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.