What kind of boss are you? Are you the laid back boss who discusses most of your ideas over a cigarette and a cup of tea? Or are you the kind of boss who is the first to arrive and last to leave? Whatever image you project, I am sure you want to be known as a trustworthy boss.
Here are three ways to be known as a boss who can be trusted:
1. Know how to keep a secret
Not being able to keep a secret could potentially ruin your relationship with your employees! It holds good whoever told you the secret and whomever you are letting in on the secret.
The point I am trying to make is, keep secrets to yourself to be a more trustworthy person. This may sound excessively obvious, but it is something that needs to be said out loud since very few people know how to keep secrets.
As author Robert L Cross says in his book, ‘The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations’, “Our interviewees indicated that people who kept sensitive material to themselves were perceived as more trustworthy. Though a seemingly obvious prescription, acting with discretion was far from common. In fact, our interviewees frequently described using people’s lack of discretion intentionally as a means of circulating information within a network.”
2. Let them in your circle
Who do you feel like sharing your secrets with? Someone who shares secrets back with you, right? I am not saying go around broadcasting your innermost thoughts and darkest secrets to everyone you know, but the quickest and easiest way of earning trust is the give and take approach. In fact, it does not even have to be personal stuff. Share a contact you know, introduce the person whose trust you are trying to win to a common friend who might be of help to the person. Letting someone in your network is like telling the other person that you trust them, so they can trust you too.
As author Robert L Cross says, “…sharing tacit, or experiential, knowledge often led to the development of benevolence-based trust… Sharing personal contacts is a second important type of assistance. Revealing one’s personal contacts can jeopardize reputation and social capital. Allowing outsiders to tap into one’s network is a signal of trust that a person will often respect and reciprocate”.
3. Reward honest behavior and reprimand dishonest behavior
You must show that honesty is a quality you value and appreciate. Similarly, do not let liars and cheaters get away easily!
Author Robert L Cross says, “The company was willing to spend time and energy to train everyone in the importance of these values and to work out a comprehensive evaluation process assessing employees’ behavior in relation to these values. Many companies may say that they value integrity, but not as many will put their employees through training, and few of those will formulate a working evaluation system and tie in compensation.”
Being a more trustworthy boss will make your employees work better and will foster a feeling of closeness with the company. You have nothing to lose.