You may be working with new people.

They don’t really know you and you really don’t know them. You have positional power, now you need to develop personal power. You have the title, now you need the trust. How do you establish trust?

Trust is a complicated concept. Trust is something that occurs between people. What is interesting about establishing trust is that people need to know you before they will trust you.

Establishing trust takes time. It is like how a bird builds a nest; just one stick at a time. It is the same way with trust: one interaction at a time.

Trust is a delicate gift. Trust is difficult to build and easy to damage or destroy. Trust is dynamic, it is never static, it changes constantly as individuals interact.

Establishing trust is based upon accurate self-awareness and responsible self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is deliberately sharing information about your self, and about what you think and feel.

Self-disclosure involves risk. Telling people what you think and how you feel can lead to beneficial or harmful consequences, which depends on the behavior of the other person.

So, you need to feel relatively confident that the other person will behave in a way that the beneficial consequences will result. Take your time; don’t be in a hurry, be thoughtful in your comments, and honest in your remarks. Balance the risk with responsible self-disclosure.

People need to know you before they will trust you. There is risk involved in establishing trust, however the benefits are tremendous. Just make sure that your self-disclosure is relevant to the relationship and appropriate to the situation; otherwise bite your tongue.

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