It’s a Matter of Trust: Part Seven

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This is the final installment of a seven part series exploring the concept of trust, including how it pertains to the workplace. Read Read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four and Part Fiveand Part Six now.

Got Trust? Listen, Listen, Listen

By Doug Turner

It has been said that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason – so we can listen twice as much as we speak. Strong leaders have developed the ability to really listen, to hear what is being said and what is not being said. They listen with their ears, their eyes and their heart. They acknowledge what they hear without comment or judgment.

Open Your Ears and Mind
The truly gifted listener can make you feel like you’re the only person in the room, even when the room is crowded and noisy. Imagine how you’d feel if that happened to you. The trust account just got a HUGE deposit, right?

Pay attention to what you’re thinking about when you are listening to someone in a conversation. Are you thinking about what you’ll say next? If so you aren’t really listening. This will show in your face, body language and in your words. Are you comfortable with occasional silences? Good listeners are.

When you really listen to people they feel heard. People will trust a person who really listens, more readily than they’ll trust someone who speaks eloquently and never listens.

Raise Your Bar
It is important to always be improving. This is not to say that you can’t be pleased with what you’ve accomplished, rather that you are always looking to the next level of competence, achievement, or service. The question is “how can I do this even better,” no matter what “this” is.

How can I be a better parent, brother, team leader, or friend? Can I learn even more about this field? In a world where things are changing very quickly, it is critical to stay informed and current about the factors that influence your particular environment, whether it is a new technology or a new way of managing people in certain situations. Read what the experts say. Don’t assume that what you learned in school 5 or 10 years ago is still relevant. When people see you or your organization always getting better, their confidence in your capability increases and this is one of the pillars of trust.

Trust in Feedback
Even more important, from a trust perspective, is to ask people what they think of you. Get feedback and evaluation comments. If you act on that feedback you are showing respect for the people you asked, and also demonstrating accountability for yourself and your performance.

Clearly this is another example of how various behaviours are linked together in the trust network. You can score a three-for-one just by showing that you genuinely care about what others think, keeping both ears open and constantly adding to your shared trust account.

Doug Turner is a leadership and executive coach at True Balance Coaching.

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