We spend a third of our lives at work and, in some cases, much more than that. For that reason, it's important to enjoy what we do and a part of that is getting along with the other people in the workplace.
While making friends with co-workers isn't always possible, there are things you can do to foster more trust at work, so tensions will be eased and tasks will be completed more efficiently.
Communication is the Key
Communication is important in making any relationship flourish and that goes for the workplace as well as for our personal lives. The latest trend in many workplace environments is the idea that we're creating teams together.
Many companies are taking advantage of company retreats to build unity among coworkers. Consider checking out different team building workshops to find the best one for you and your coworkers.
The concept of a team is that everyone is working together toward realizing the same goal. Open, effective communication helps to develop that team mentality and engenders greater feelings of trust. When you communicate openly and honestly with your co-workers, they're likely to do the same with you.
Accusations Can Derail Your Efforts
When something does go wrong in the workplace, it becomes easy to place the blame on a co-worker. Doing this sabotages your efforts at open communication and creates an atmosphere of mistrust that can lead to animosity.
Instead of looking for someone to blame, offer suggestions for correcting the problem. By taking the team forward and beyond the mistake, you're less likely to lose trust with your co-workers.
Take a Genuine Interest
Another way to build trust with your co-workers is by taking an interest in their duties. By showing that you care about their problems, possibly offering solutions, they'll feel more apt to be open with you in the future.
Similarly, praising them for their accomplishments or just offering a "job well done" can endear you to them. Another benefit here is that you may learn more about other aspects of the business and this may help in securing a promotion in the future.
Pull Your Weight
By being consistent in accomplishing your own tasks, you can prove to your co-workers that you can be trusted on a more professional level. They can do their own jobs without having to worry that you'll fail to meet your obligations.
Conversely, when you're the one causing everyone else to stay late or work extra shifts, this can lead to a toxic or hostile work environment. If you are experiencing problems. consider asking for additional training, so you can improve your own performance.
Earn Trust by Giving Trust
Aside from open communication, this may be the single best thing you can do to earn your co-worker's trust. It has never been easy to trust in another person and it becomes harder as we move away from person to person connections in favor of a digital society.
For that reason, showing someone you trust them will soften them up and let them feel safer in trusting you.
This means sharing what you know efficiently. By sharing your knowledge, your co-workers will come to respect you for having the answers, when they may be a little lost. Additionally, be just as honest when you don't have the answers.
There's no shame in admitting you don't know how to solve a particular problem. Perhaps another team member will have that solution and, since they have already seen you openly share your thoughts, they'll feel more confident in offering their information.
By building the confidence your co-workers have in you, you can also help them build up their own self-confidence.
Summing it up
Building trust is never easy, especially among people you barely know. It doesn't mean you have to share the intimate details about your personal life, either. It just means showing your co-workers that you're reliable, open to communication, and competent to function in your workplace.
Once they get to know you and see that you are trustworthy, relations will get smoother and there will be less suspicion and tension at work.
This article is a guest post by Lewis Robinson, a consultant and freelance writer specializing in streamlining business processes with business technology. He is the former founder and CEO of a small software company. You can reach him on his LinkedIn profile