Brain Food: Your route to the top - How to be trusted

Keep surprises to a minimum - even nice ones. Better to give hints beforehand, otherwise people will always be wondering what you are going to spring on them next.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Be careful. When there's an ethical choice, ask for advice or err on the side of caution. It pays to acknowledge grey areas.

Manage your mood. Inexplicable elation can be just as unnerving as quiet agitation.

Don't be shy. Make it clear when you deliver on a promise. Give notice if you think that you are going to let someone down.

Give your reasons. Once people understand how you think, they are much more likely to trust your judgment when you don't have time to or can't explain.

Listen to criticism. It doesn't have to be wholeheartedly accepted, but absorb enough to show you are willing to change.

Give thanks. When people believe they'll be appreciated, they tend to be more trusting with their time and support.

Be a friend. When someone asks for personal advice, put your own agenda to one side and base your recommendations on what you think is in their best interest.

Take notice. Give people your undivided attention when they are talking.

Summarise to show that you've been listening.

Help in a crisis. When something might be going wrong, go out of your way to help, even when it isn't your responsibility.

Confess ignorance. Admit it when you don't know the answer - we all have gaps in our knowledge. Don't be caught bluffing.

Show that you share the same goals and think along the same lines. Discuss subjects you agree on or enthuse about.

Build trust over time. Be consistent, keep at it and results will follow.

The Mind Gym: wake your mind up is published by Time Warner (£12.99), www.themindgym.com.

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