There is an old saying that “relationships are built on trust” and it goes without saying that trust must go both ways for a relationship to grow. Effective supervisors know that there are three primary components to building trust.
- Shared Purpose: Both parties are interested in achieving the same thing in the relationship, and believe that the other person shares that purpose. If either party thinks that the other is not interested in or actively helping with the achievement of a common purpose, then trust is diminished. For example, if the employee perceives the boss as only interested in making him/herself look good and not in helping the employee to progress, then shared purpose does not exist and trust is diminished.
- Mutual Respect: Each person shows respect to the other. Notice that we say “shows respect” not “likes” the other person. While it helps, it is not necessary to like the other person; but it is essential that you show respect for the person as a person. One of the primary ways that respect is demonstrated is by taking the time to listen to each other in an attempt to completely understand before giving advice.
- Confidence and Confidentiality: This is the willingness and ability to confide in each other and depend on the candid, truthful feedback from the other. It is also the knowledge that each person can depend on the other to do what they say they will do. Failure to maintain dependability and confidentiality are sure ways to diminish confidence and trust in a relationship.
Over the next three weeks we will examine each of these in more detail to determine how to go about executing each one.