Building Trust and Confidence

So you just got a new job, and you're wondering, now what? Don't fret; we've got you covered with a recap of our part four Orientation and Performance Best Practices series, which is filled with valuable resources to help you deter anxiety by building trust and confidence.

Before we get started, have you identified with whom you want to build trust, i.e., your boss, colleagues, clients? Whomever it is, do some form of cadence, meeting with them to develop the relationship. Why? Because, when it comes to building trust and confidence, you have to find a balance between the two. To gain trust, you need confidence and vice versa. When others trust us, it's a by-product of building familiarity with individuals. Often, there's a hallow effect between trust and confidence, so the more we can build familiarity, trust, friendship, and rapport, the more people will have confidence in us. And the opposite is true. The more we nail our job, the more trust we build, which amplifies both. Not to mention, you're continuing to develop your confidence as well.

An FBI Agent's Formula

In earlier webinars and an article (part 1, part 2, and Real-World Examples), we discuss the approaches used by an FBI agent. The agent's formula for trust (friendship) includes proximity, frequency, duration, and intensity, outlined below.

  • Proximity – Your general vicinity and proximity to the person you're trying to build familiarity and trust with are essential so that they start to get familiar with you or to be around you.
  • Frequency – The more often you're around them helps build familiarity and eventually can lead to trust, i.e., cadence one-on-one's starting weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly.
  • Duration – Similar to frequency, duration should include maximizing how much time you spend with them to progress your familiarity building.
  • Intensity – This means getting beyond small talk and shallow conversation. This occurs when you're able to discuss things openly or candidly.

Don't Overcommit Yourself

When starting new opportunities, we may overcommit ourselves, and the quickest way to kill trust is not delivering. Don't set yourself up for failure and added stress. If you're one of those who say yes to everything, start evaluating yourself because career success requires becoming self-aware by assessing and understanding things such as:

  • What did I say yes to, and is it realistic?
  • Can I adjust anything to follow through on my commitments?
  • What are my skills, weaknesses, and where can I improve?
  • What's my body language saying? Am I slouched or in a confident pose? Consider body language training; it's influential and helps establish trust.

Being aware of what you can and can't deliver is essential. Are you familiar with the phrase, under-promise and over-deliver? Having more wins, by delivering, builds your confidence and other's perception of you.

The Integrity of Saying Yes, Not Now, and No Thanks

You can't take on everything, and you can't be everything for everyone. There will be times when you have to say 'no' or 'not right now,' and it's ok. There's no need to become distressed, just explain why you said 'no' or 'not right now.' You can say, "I'd love to do this training for your team, but with my current bandwidth, can we revisit in two weeks?" There's nothing wrong with being organized and considerate about your commitments. Not only are you honest, but it shows others that you're serious about delivering on the promises you make, including theirs, once you can commit.

Here's another situation to consider. Understandably, you want to fit in with others on your team or within the company, but it’s essential to avoid office gossip. It destroys trust, can create a bad culture, and can damage your career. If you're gossiping to build one fellowship at the expense of another, you may as well strike a match now and burn all your bridges. So, if you've ever found yourself amidst gossip, politely excuse yourself. It's a nice way of saying 'no thanks' without saying it and without being off-putting. A healthy team addition is an excellent cultural fit that is trustworthy. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Now, you still have to take part in individual's experiences for them to trust you. Though gossiping is out of the question, you can still focus on working with your team and getting to know them when working together. Eventually, you'll develop healthy relationships so you can work effectively together.

Just remember, when it comes to building trust and confidence, you have to find a balance between the two. So if you find yourself being your own worst critic and if you still doubt yourself or your capabilities, take each Friday to reflect and evaluate. You can do it during a morning run, a lunch break, or just before your happy hour starts. What are you proud of having done? What did you do, whom did you help this week? What value did you provide? A weekly self-reflection only takes ten minutes, and it's an excellent confidence builder and a fantastic way to end your week!

Additional Resources:

Leadership Track Best Practices article

Click here, to view the webinar and our SME panelist, Jeff Baird, Suzanne Ricci, and George Stocker.