What Makes You Trustworthy?

In her Fast Company article, Karissa Thacker challenges us to look in the mirror before we start pointing fingers at the colleagues we don’t trust. “Many of us think about trust running in one direction, ” she writes. “‘Do I trust this person or that person?’ Chances are you can name one or two colleagues off the top of your head whom you particularly trust at work, and another one or two whom you don’t. But we seldom ask whether other people trust us, and why (or why not).”

How do you define trust? Do your actions make you trustworthy? What would those actions be?

In Fuckery, Jon and I explore the habits that damage trust at work. Blame & bullying are easy targets. That guy who always throws you under the bus, or the gossip who hangs out in the break room aren’t enhancing trust on anybody’s team. Some of our actions, however, are less obvious at ruining our credibility.

Avoiding conflict, overcommitting, and sexism make the list of Notorious Fuckery. So do shortcuts and patronizing, along with hubris and interrogation. Are you guilty of any of those?

What habits interfere with trust where you work? More importantly, how are you contributing?

Marie admitted she had a consistent pattern of interrupting others. She recognized this happened when she felt impatient, was driven by efficiency, or wanted to control the conversation. Interrupting is rude and disrespectful. How does respect correlate with trust?

Committed to change, Marie began noticing how frequently she cut people off. She paid attention to why she felt compelled to do this. She practiced listening to understand instead of listening to respond. She began to see that influence isn’t about who talks the loudest or the longest, but who develops relationships.

If you want to enhance trust on your team or at your company, it starts with you.