The ability to build and maintain trust is critical to leadership success and the bedrock of a strong relationship.

Think about people that you feel the closest to. What is the trust level between you? How would you describe those interactions?

Our clients tell us that they are apt to reveal their vulnerabilities more freely with those whom they have built close trusting relationships. When trust is present they can be themselves and more authentic, and they don’t feel the need to posture or pretend. In a trusting relationship people feel that they can rely on each other and count on one another when they need to vent or get a different perspective.

In a trusting relationship, negotiating feels more like problem solving. Agreements are reached quickly and problems are more speedily resolved. In The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey makes the business case for trust, suggesting that with trust organizational work and operations go faster and smoother, and are more reliable.

There is little room for creativity in a climate of distrust. Rather than a handshake around an agreement, people read the fine print of these agreements, often imputing false motives and taking more time and effort. If problems do occur, rather than solving them together quickly, both parties play the blame game and wait for the other to fix it.

Trust takes time to build, but it is fragile and easily broken. Here are twelve things you can do to build trust in your relationships.

12 Trust Building Behaviors
1. Be truthful and candid and say what you mean
2. Be empathetic and compassionate
3. Keep sensitive information confidential
4. Be consistent
5. Show loyalty
6. Avoid gossip
7. Follow through on commitments you make
8. Share information
9. Show appreciation and give credit to others
10. Listen
11. Admit mistakes; apologize quickly
12. Give others your time

Is it time to check your alignment?