Girls business presentation applause

Very often, we think about how to get something done. You think about what needs to be done, how it’s going to get done, who is going to do it, and what it will mean for the future. What leaders and managers may fail to think about it is how trust plays into this process of productivity.

According to this article out of Harvard University, trust can be a “competitive advantage for organizations,” and as any manager or team member can attest, as trust goes, so goes goal achievement, communication, and overall workforce productivity. No doubt it’s important. But trust is a hard thing to define. Building and an even harder thing to rebuild after you’ve lost it. So how can you ensure you don’t lose trust?

Well, how about starting with the brain? There are neural pathways that inherently reflect the way people are wired to think. And the more you tailor your interactions with others based on the way their wired to think, the more likely you are to build trust with them. Everyone’s are different, though, so there’s no magic formula to tap into trust and get at the neural pathway of how every person needs information in order to trust it (and you). But just by understanding the four distinct ways that people think you can begin to tailor your approach and begin the first step in building trust with others.

For people whose brains naturally get Analytical, get them to trust by:

  • Providing data and reliable information.
  • Supporting arguments with logic.
  • Showcasing comparative value.

For people with Structural brain patterns, build trust by:

  • Getting things done when and how you say you will.
  • Following a prescribed plan.

For people who care deeply about others and exhibit a Social thinking preference, get to trust through:

  • Staying true to your word.
  • Including all team members in decisions.
  • Asking what someone thinks.

For people who think in Conceptual ways, trust can be built by:

  • Acknowledging and valuing ideas.
  • Being open and accepting of new thoughts/things/concepts.
  • Showing the big picture.

If you’re a leader, remember these four points to building trust in the workplace and with your employees. But don’t forget to think about and communicate across the range of behaviors on your team and in your organization. Expressiveness, Assertiveness and Flexibility play key roles in the way people exhibit their thinking styles, and trust can be built up just by communicating with them in a way that matches behavior. Building trust ain’t easy—but it sure is important.

Print This Post Print This Post