One of the most important features of building engagement is to cultivate relationships based on trust.
Two things you can implement immediately to increase levels of trust:
- Increase frequency of interactions – so if you see a person or a team once a month, increase it to once every three weeks.
- Show interest in and understanding of the thoughts and feelings of others – so ask questions – What do you think? How do you feel? – and listen to the answers.
A few years ago, I was told about a very helpful formula which was developed by Galford and Drapeau- see the book-The Trusted Leader:
T = C+R+I/S
the T stands for trust
the C for credibility
The R for reliability
The I for intimacy
The S for self orientation.
Professionals are usually very good at being credible and reliable and thereby create a good level of trust especially with clients.
However, in order to deepen client relationships or create more staff engagement there is a need to consider their levels of intimacy and self orientation. Trust and relationships will improve if intimacy goes up and self orientation goes down.
Increasing intimacy may be seen as daunting or even compromising. It does not have to be difficult. Increasing intimacy can be as simple as increasing the frequency of interactions.
High achieving task focused individuals know they need people in order to achieve their task or fulfill their obligation. Relationships are developed for specific purposes. Therefore individuals with a high degree of task focus may be perceived as having a high level of self orientation i.e. low levels of interest in others. If you can show some genuine interest in or understanding of another other person, self orientation will go down and trust will go up.