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Trust-Building Basics

We tend to view trust as the foundation of all relationships, so it has an obvious importance when you’re working in a team environment. But how do we actually build that trust in our teams? Let’s start with some basics: authentic communication.

Communication that isn’t authentic destroys trust. Authentic communication, the cornerstone of all trusting relationships, requires far more than speaking the truth. It’s like the old saying: “It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it.” The words you use, the tone of voice, the context in which the ‘message’ is given, even your facial expressions and body language, can all be used to create a false impression in another person’s mind.

The only truly trustworthy person is the one who communicates by being exactly who he or she is – and when they do this, you know it. There’s never a question about who they are and what they’re intending. Authentic communication goes far beyond the façade to include full disclosure of what that person believes, what he or she wants, and how well your own needs and concerns are being understood.

When communication is authentic, you know where you stand. Empathy is high because the authentic communicator takes the time and trouble to listen and respond fully. Authenticity is high, because those responses are open and complete — there’s no avoiding the issue, no vague words and misleading phrases. There are certainly no facial expressions, tone of voice and body language conveying a different message than what’s being said.

If you want to build trust with those you work with, authentic communication is essential. Without this, every word spoken or written may be factual, but dishonest none-the-less.

Categories: authenticity, teams, trust
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