You Won’t Make Friends With Everyone at Work. Earn Their Trust Instead.

Like this on Facebook

“We started out as cube neighbors at the beginning of my corporate career,” says Joanne Collins of her former colleague at a life reinsurance firm. “Gabe would often overhear me talking to clients on the phone and helping new employees. Since he was a more introverted person, he really valued my relationship-building skills and the connections I made with other people.”

To Collins, who is now a Vice President with StoneRiver, Gabe became a trusted source of feedback. She continues: “He provided me with some very good career guidance early in my career. And he often came to me for input on work policies or staffing issues.”

This working relationship continued for many years, even as Collin’s former colleague rose through the ranks in a series of increasingly senior roles. “This foundation of trust was built on his seeing me in action when I didn’t know I was being watched,” says Collins. “Later, he became the best manager I’ve ever had. It grew into a mentoring relationship and ultimately, he became my first sponsor.” It shows you never know when the opportunity to build trust will appear and where it’s going to take you in your career.

“All relationships need trust,” says Collins. “Up, down, and sideways; internal and external; personal and professional. Everyone wants to feel heard and feel important.” But don’t confuse building trust with making friends. “Not everyone you work with will become your friend,” points out Collins. If they do, great. But that’s not the priority. “First and foremost, you want to develop trusting relationships that are built on honesty, integrity, and openness,” she explains.

Developing workplace relationships, when done in a mindful and meaningful way, is part of your job. It’s not something that schmoozy slackers do to avoid getting real work done. It is real work. And if you neglect to do it, you’ll only make more work for yourself.

Take every opportunity to build relationships and do it long before you think you’ll need them, or you’ll quickly train people to hide whenever they see you approaching. “Take the time to do this now,” says Collins. “And not just when you have a deadline or need something.”

Collins, whose job title is Vice President of Relationships Management at StoneRiver, is an ideal source for learning how to build trust at work. Here are her top suggestions:

1. Be candid and authentic. Always be open and honest about your motives.

2. Open yourself up to input. Listen and ask for feedback.

3. Put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand what’s motivating the other person. What do they need?

4. Give as much as you get. A relationship is built on the value of both parties. This can’t be a one-way street. It shouldn’t just be about you.

5. Don’t vent to others. Instead, communicate directly with the individual involved.

6. Steer clear of making assumptions. Seek clarification and understanding about someone’s motivation for their behavior.

“If you want to build trust with someone, come to the table with open intent,” says Collins. As Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

This article appeared in Forbes on March 4, 2018.

Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

Recommended

Thank you

If you're celebrating Thanksgiving today, may your day be filled with good food, great company, safe travels, and of course pie. Lots of pie. Wherever ...

4 Travel Luxuries I Can’t Live Without

Have you ever noticed how those “business travel hacks” and “how to pack a suitcase” listicles always seem to feature a pic of George Clooney ...

Leaderly Quote: Demote your inner perfectionist

For some of us active and recovering perfectionists, we await feedback holding out hope that if we did things perfectly, we will hear only glowing praise. And ...

Ready to lead?

We'll show you how!
Get email updates from Be Leaderly.

Our mission is to provide the career strategies that help you lead, climb and thrive as a rising woman of influence.

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

15 Songs for Your Leadership Playlist

It was one of those conference moments I’ll never forget: Carly Fiorina had ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

Let’s face it: it isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as ...

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

A few years ago, around the time when I was launching this blog, ...

Nine Qualities of Female Leaders Who Get Beyond the Glass Ceiling

I’m frequently asked to speak about women in law and specifically the issue ...

5 Things Women Leaders Should Stop Doing. TODAY.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had a front row seat to career ...

8 Types of Courage for Aspiring Leaders

“The truth is that courage resides within you; you must simply decide to ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with a senior executive ...

Leaderly Quote: If you never hear no, you’re not asking for enough.
Leaderly Quote: If you never hear no, you’re not asking for enough.

Want to negotiate with more confidence? Start seeing “No” as one piece of information –

Be Leaderly’s Selena Rezvani Discusses ‘Career Stretch’ & Readiness on SAP Radio
Be Leaderly’s Selena Rezvani Discusses ‘Career Stretch’ & Readiness on SAP Radio

‘Career Stretch’ & Readiness: Does It Differ From a Gender Lens? Stretch opportunities – those

How to Take Control of Your Reputation at Work
How to Take Control of Your Reputation at Work

The most important career capital you have isn’t your technical skills or academic pedigree. It’s

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Liza Lee Luk
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Liza Lee Luk

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what they’re doing to

Get Smart About the Wage Gap: 10 Great Reads for Equal Pay Day
Get Smart About the Wage Gap: 10 Great Reads for Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day 2018 falls on Tuesday, April 10. This date brings the gender wage

How to Score a Flexible Work Arrangement
How to Score a Flexible Work Arrangement

Do you ever fantasize about having more flexibility in your workday? And what about those

Not Every Problem Has an Easy Solution
Not Every Problem Has an Easy Solution

It’s time to retire the saying “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” Even though

Leaderly Quote: See a gap, fill a gap!
Leaderly Quote: See a gap, fill a gap!

You don’t need a title or a team to be a leader. You can lead

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Are you curious what other emerging leaders have been reading at Be Leaderly.com? This month’s popular

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Kelley B. Hall
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Kelley B. Hall

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what they’re doing to

Awkward or Awesome? What Your Hand Gestures Say When You’re Giving a Speech.
Awkward or Awesome? What Your Hand Gestures Say When You’re Giving a Speech.

It’s the day of the annual meeting and your team is present from five locations

Leaderly Quote: Self-promotion is self-preservation
Leaderly Quote: Self-promotion is self-preservation

With study after study showing that women are more apprehensive about discussing their general competence—let

You Won’t Make Friends With Everyone at Work. Earn Their Trust Instead.
You Won’t Make Friends With Everyone at Work. Earn Their Trust Instead.

“We started out as cube neighbors at the beginning of my corporate career,” says Joanne

How to Decide if an Employer’s Culture is Right for You
How to Decide if an Employer’s Culture is Right for You

It’s long been demonstrated that companies that create great work cultures see big benefits from

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Copyright 2018, Be Leaderly