5 Steps to Building Trust

On Monday of this week I said that strong relationships are built on trust and respect.  So today let’s look at what you can do to build trust.  The steps below will help you keep emotions in check and the focus on solutions – and they are equally powerful in personal and business relationships.

1.    Get a clear vision in your mind of what you want as an outcome before you engage with another.  Be reasonable.  A positive outcome will be something each of you sees as personally beneficial in some way.

2.    While in discussion, listen carefully to what the other person is saying before you speak.  Trust cannot be established if someone feels he or she is not being heard.

3.    Ask open-ended questions to clarify and validate that you’ve heard correctly what the other person said.

4.    Agree to an action plan.  Sometimes the best plan is simply to agree to speak again in the near future.  This gives everyone time to think about things.  And particularly if the situation is tense, a bit of time between discussions can help break the grip that emotions create.

5.    Do what you’ve agreed to do.

The goal is to keep the lines of communication open, emotions in check, and find a win for each party.

In my next post I’ll talk about what to do when communication gets tough.

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