3 Ways to Build Trust With Colleagues


Authenticity often comes up as a theme with my clients. As leaders, to get anything done we have to work with and through others. That is so much harder to do if our colleagues question our intentions.

Take a look at the three questions below to better understand how you “show up” and what that might say about your authenticity.

  1. Is what you say in sync with what you do? Take this example: You and a colleague agree on a course of action. In later discussions with others, you find out more information, realize that your original plan isn’t optimal, and set a new one. The next day, your colleague is caught off guard, hearing about your new plan at a meeting. Although you had good business reasons for changing direction, she now questions your motives. To prevent this from happening to you, don’t forget to close the loop to ensure that your actions and your intent are well understood.

  2. Do you always walk in with an agenda? A drive for results can often cause this common misstep. Are you more focused on getting what you need from the other person, forgetting to assess what’s going on in his world and adjusting accordingly? Remember to be in the moment and be flexible. Is this really the right time to press forward with what you need, or does the person in front of you need something else right now?

  3. Have you truly invested time to get to know your colleagues? Taking just a few minutes a week to find out what’s going on personally or professionally with colleagues or to offer help can go a long way. It will communicate a genuine interest and will increase their responsiveness when you need something.

From the questions above, choose one area to focus on in your interactions this week. You may find that minor tweaks to your approach can make a major difference in building trust. Remember small steps can lead to big results.