Eight Ways to Build Trust and Credibility

Demonstrate these trusting behaviors to advance personally and professionally.


Do you remember playing the “TRUST” game as a child? Shaking and holding your breath, you stood in front of someone and hoped that when you fell backward they would catch you and not let you fall to the ground. It was nerve-wracking to let go and rely on them to keep you from getting hurt. But after they caught you the first time, you were more willing to lean back again and again without fear. That’s because they had earned your trust.

That same kind of trust is important to build solid relationships for career success. Trustworthy people are invaluable to organizations. They are influencers who consistently demonstrate a pattern of behavior that enhances their credibility. In fact, according to DDI, a global leadership consulting firm, 99 percent of employees think that trust in the workplace is a vital need at work. Trust comes from accepting a person for who they are and appreciating their uniqueness rather than asking them (or expecting them) to be someone else.

To build trust and increase your leadership abilities to capitalize on opportunities of advancement, here are eight ways to support you in keeping it together:

1. KEEP YOUR WORD! Reliability is a primary component of trust. Your promise should be as binding as a contract. Follow through on every commitment. Focus on exceeding expectations and building a reputation of accountability.

2. KEEP GOOD COMPANY! You are the sum of your interactions and experiences. Surround yourself with people of high integrity who are positive, energetic, and results-oriented to inspire and guide you.

3. KEEP THE PEACE! Learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. Recognize the value in the opinion of others.

4. KEEP CONTROL! Manage your emotions when you are stressed or under pressure. Your emotional intelligence (EI) has a strong impact on how you are perceived and the way you respond in challenging situations. It’s not only what you bring to the table; it’s how you serve it that matters.

5. KEEP THE VISION! Remember the overall goal. Gain credibility by helping others achieve their objectives.

6. KEEP IT HONEST! When you’re open and honest, others don’t have to guess your motivations or intentions. Admit when you are wrong. You’ll be respected for truthfulness and transparency.

7. KEEP RECORDS! Ask others to write a recommendation for you. Use their words to build your reputation and advance your agenda.

8. KEEP QUIET! Be a good listener. When people are speaking, give them your full attention. It exemplifies respect and trust and enhances communication.

Gaining credibility and trustworthiness doesn’t happen overnight. Just KEEP GOING! Don’t be dismayed if at one time or another you let someone down. No one is perfect. But your history will speak loudly of your character if you’ve established a solid foundation. Demonstrate these trusting behaviors to support you in getting there faster.