Embarking on my work at home adventure just as I relocated to a new city has its challenges. I’ve done it many times while my husband was in the Marine Corps and we’ve been riding that momentum ever since, but working from home is even more challenging. Not having family or friends near isn’t new, it’s the working from home and not having that immediate workplace interaction to help facilitate new bonds. And although I am slowly starting to meet others here and there, at the playground, at yoga class etc., trust is key to building a more lasting relationship.
Building trust face to face is the same as when you are online so I ask myself:
“HOW DO I BUILD TRUST WITH MY AUDIENCE ON MY BLOG?”
Answer: You build trust with revealing your INTENTIONS.
In one of Harvard Business Review’s blog posts, For People to Trust You, Reveal Your Intentions, Linda Hill & Kent Lineback provide great insight on how to take purposeful and conscious steps to reveal your “motives and values”.
Here are three important ways to reveal your intentions and convince others of their sincerity.
1. First, talk explicitly about your intentions — what’s important to you, the goals you seek, the values and motives that guide your actions and decisions. Talk as well about the sources of your intentions — the experiences that forged them. When you do something or make a choice, explain both the business and personal reasons. Don’t assume people will see them. Say them outright. Invite a discussion of them.
This sounds easy, but many managers resist the idea that the boss must stoop to explain himself. Being the boss, they think, means not having to do that. But if they want to generate the kind of trust that gives them real influence and elicits the best from their people, they will talk about their intentions. This is important because intentions often aren’t obvious, and they’re always open to interpretation — especially, as we said, in a complex setting like work. So relying on others to guess what’s in your head and heart is, at best, a problematic way to produce the outcome — trust — that you want.
2. The second way to reveal your intentions is through integrity. Walk the talk. Keep your word. Be sure that what you say is consistent with what you do. This will prove your authenticity. If you tell people to be open to new ideas, but you’re not, they will doubt what you say. If they don’t understand or believe your intentions, how can they trust you to do the right thing?
3. The third way you reveal your intentions is through consistency. The intentions you speak about and practice should be the same from day to day, from person to person, from situation to situation. If they’re not, and there’s no reason for the difference, your lack of consistency will lead people to doubt you as well. If there are differences, be sure to explain them. Be sensitive to how others see and interpret your reasons for what you do.
The Chinese Character for Intention
With the right intentions the impact and influence you impress upon others will not only be contagious, but you will not have lost integrity while doing so and at the end of the day, it comes back to being the best “real with many flaws and all” role model for my children.