Instilling a sense of trust is invaluable in any relationship, whether personal or professional. In the construction industry, where your team is working on projects that can affect people’s safety, establishing trust is critical.

Building trust requires a subtle alchemy of words and body language. If your body language does not match your words, trust will never be achieved. When the other person feels as if they are being interrogated, or that you are just paying them lip service, having a quality conversation is almost impossible.

Every productive conversation should be a give and take. If one person feels that they are doing all the work, whether it be asking all the questions, or sharing information, the conversation will inevitably come to an end. It may also leave both participants feeling poorly about one another. This happens when trust was not built within the conversation.

Here are three simple ways you can build trust in your communications:

  1. Have a few good stories that you are comfortable sharing. The act of sharing your life with others can go a long way in making you more relatable and help others feel more comfortable sharing aspects of their own lives. If you are not a natural storyteller, think of a few stories or anecdotes and practice them with friends and family.
  2. Be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. Asking the question is not enough; you need to actively listen to what they are saying instead of zoning out or just waiting for a chance to respond. You can also show interest with your body language. Nodding, smiling, and small interjections such as “really?” or “that is so interesting” will convey your interest and help the other person feel at ease. And this will build trust.
  3. Be honest in your communication. This is especially true in conversations with colleagues, family, or friends. Sharing your true thoughts and feelings will show that you are genuine and you value them enough to be honest. In the end, people will appreciate that you stand behind your thoughts and values, and do not just tell them what they want to hear. Of course, be sure to exercise tactfulness!

Building trust into your communication through sharing something about yourself, being genuinely interested in the other person, and being honest in your interactions will go a long way in terms of having meaningful interactions with others, both in your personal and professional life.


Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash