How to Build Trust and Enhance Confidence in Your Relationships

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Trust is one of the most researched and written about topics. This is because in one way or another, we have been betrayed by people close to us such as employers, employees, friends, or even spouses.

Betrayal comprises two parts; the first is a violation of an agreement whether spoken or unspoken while the second component is the injury that results. Lots of unspoken agreements exist between parties in a relationship. Any sort of violation is not only injurious, but also a betrayal of trust.

The definition of trust brings out elements such as reliance on the ability, truth, strength, and character of another person or thing. This means trust develops on the platform of reliance on another person to do the right thing.

In a team, trust provides a sense of safety. Whenever your members feel safe, they will be comfortable to open up, expose vulnerabilities, and take appropriate risks. Without trust, creative thinking, innovation, collaboration, and ultimately productivity suffers. An environment that lacks trust make people to behave in protective ways instead of spending their time contributing to the attainment of group goals.

Repairing and Rebuilding Trust

When you hurt others and trust is compromised or lost, you need to acknowledge the injury caused and show a reaction that measures up to the hurt. Without true acknowledgement and remorse, the trust may not be repaired.

The process of repairing trust may require that you promise the other party that you will never hurt them again. This is important because it builds on the hope that you can control yourself in the future and thereby not repeating the mistake.

What to Do to Enhance Trust and Confidence

Each one of us has a shadow that basically compromises capacities, needs, and qualities that we do not fully know as yet. These aspects tend to be hurtful because they express themselves unconsciously without our sensitivity, care, and responsibility.

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Some of the qualities could be jealously, selfishness, anger, meanness, fear, or resentment. Promising that you will never express these qualities may not hold because they lie in the subconscious. However, there are specific steps you can take to regain trust and inspire confidence in others.

Get to Know Yourself and Others

This is the building block to healthy relationships. Knowing what you do not like and other aspects of your preferential circle can be liberating. There is a tendency to ignore the shadow of others especially at the early stages of your relationships. Doing this has the effect of hiding your own darker side thereby limiting efforts to self-discovery.

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
― Donald Miller,

Encourage team members to share their personal stories and bond with one another. The more sensitive you are to their personal interests, the more they are likely to open up and trust you. Think about socializing or have a team building session where you discuss your values and act them out.

Begin Trusting

When you acknowledge that at a personal level you have qualities that may be undesirable to the other people and that the other people may also have qualities undesirable to you, trusting becomes a possibility.

In this case, trust is not built on the hope that you will not hurt other people or other people will not be hurt by you, but instead anchored on deep honesty. Each one of you has their own shortcomings, but you have agreed to relate and inspire one another.

Keep Your Promises

When you promise your team members or the people you relate with, you create an expectation on their end. However, most of the times we tend to overlook and conveniently forget.

 Promises are not diminished by the value of the consideration and that means promises over big and small things are equally important. Fulfilment of promises help in building trust.

Open Communication

Great communication is vital not only to our success, but that of our departments, teams, and employees. Through communication, we share information with others so that they can be in the know.

Everything that you do has the potential to affect others. For this reason, it is important to take a bold step and teach others and share information openly. Do not limit yourself on the things you should communicate. Have the confidence of speaking out because this is the only way other people will understand your interests and interact with you effectively.

Do Not Place Blames

People in a relationship make mistakes from time to time and disappointments are bound to happen.

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Oftentimes, this leads to blame directed at the person who made the mistake. An environment where people point fingers at others quickly become unpleasant, lowers morale, and undermines any possibilities of trust.

The best approach when a mistake happens is to encourage every person in the group to think constructively about it. Task them to give suggestions on what they can do to fix it and move forward as a team. Get assurances that what happened will not be repeated in the future.

Discourage Formation of Cliques

Where people share work tasks or common interests, the likelihood of forming cliques is high. The biggest disadvantage with cliques is that they make other people feel isolated and this undermines trust.

Starting an open discussion with your fellow members and picking their thoughts on cliques and their impact on the rest of the team can do you all some good. Discourage this damaging behavior by addressing the issue openly.

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When trust gets entrenched in a relationship, confidence follows almost automatically. Productivity is the end result of a trust chain which means absence of trust can significantly affect outcome. Whether you are a leader or an ordinary participant in a relationship, your presence matters and trust starts with you.

Make every effort to ensure that values are encouraged in the relationship and that you inspire one another towards the intended goal. Trust develops through deliberate efforts on all the parties involved. It doesn’t happen through subconscious pathways, but intentional acts.

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