Last week, we highlighted the importance of trust in coalition building. We can easily say “trust” is important or we want more “trust” in our coalition, but actually building trust takes time and intentionality. Building trust = building and maintaining relationships. This is why trust is so critically important for coalition building. Honestly, when we build relationships, we don’t usually think of it as “building trust,” but it is! Join me this week as I provide three ways you can build trust with your coalition:
Show genuine interest in others
Take time to get to know what is important to your coalition members. When you ask for feedback from them, genuinely listen and value their ideas. Smile. Show kindness. Demonstrate empathy. Say, “thank you.” When you genuinely care about your coalition members, you say and do the “little things” that build trust.
One of the most challenging aspects of coalition building is clarifying roles, responsibilities and expectations. As Brené Brown reminds us, Clear is Kind. When we clarify expectations and ask questions in order to understand their expectations, we build trust. If your coalition members know what is expected and are safe to ask questions when things are unclear, you are actively building trust.
Do what you say you will do. Although it may seem simple, practicing this can be very difficult. This is especially true if you are an “under-estimater” of time (like me!). As a matter of fact, in our wedding vows, my husband promised to be the one responsible for making sure we leave for any airport trip on time. 🙂 You have the best intention to keep your commitment; however, you are unrealistic about how that commitment fits with all of your other commitments. Practice re-evaluating your commitments, being honest about what is possible (and asking for help to be more realistic), communicate clearly and keep your commitments. When you are unable to keep your commitments, one of the best ways to keep building trust is to communicate quickly, openly and honestly that you need to adjust the plan and timeline. This also helps with supporting accountability in your coalition!
So what about you? What are you going to practice this week to build trust in your coalition?