If you are to have any influence at all as an individual, other people need to give you the power to influence them. And no one willingly gives power to someone they don’t trust. To build a foundation of trust, start by protecting your integrity. In a great book called The Transparency Edge, Barbara and Elizabeth Pagano offer nine ways to build credibility and integrity:
- Be completely honest.
- Gather intelligence. (Get feedback.)
- Compose yourself.
- Let your guard down.
- Keep your promises.
- Deliver bad news compassionately.
- Say you’re sorry.
- Watch your mouth. (e.g. Don’t talk behind other people’s backs.)
- Applaud freely and regularly.
As a change agent, you also need to build trust in the change itself, which means building trust in the leaders who are driving it. People going through change need to be confident that leaders are capable of delivering it. The leaders themselves also need to be trustworthy. Help them protect their integrity by providing feedback when necessary, so they have the opportunity to correct any behaviors that reduce trust.
How might you build trust?
Read more of the 99 Ways to Influence Change.