Who can I trust? 3 key indicators you can be trusted and why it matters

By Katie McJunkin, Project Coordinator & Marketing Manager

As a former counselor re-entering the corporate world, I’ve been amazed by how many themes carry over from our personal lives to our corporate lives. Remarkably, the human psyche is fairly consistent across different spaces, but can show itself in various ways depending on the role: whether acting as a parent, friend or business colleague.

One thing that has significantly impacted our culture at large this past year has been fear. Fear can result in obvious challenges such as anxiety, worry and depression. But fear can also affect relationships by slowly dissolving a pillar of character that humans have depended on for millennia: trust.

Trust has been scarce as of late. We have been regularly challenged to grapple with who we can look to and rely upon for news sources, portfolio guidance, governance, medical needs... the list is unending. But in an age where trust has been questioned and sometimes broken, we know we have to hold fast to it. But why?

Because we know trust is the currency of relationship. As relational beings, we know at our core that relationships matter and trust is the foundation of relationship. When trust is broken, we can withdraw or get into conflict. When trust is flourishing, we are far more engaged and willing to contribute, even above and beyond what is expected, because the trust we place in our relationships spurs on our trust in the causes and initiatives we share. The Harvard Business Review found that, “Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.

So how can we build trust as individuals and teams? Here’s three key indicators of a trustworthy individual:

Competency. Do what you say.

Trust is earned when actions meet words. Showing others that you are able to complete a task well and on time will naturally grow trust in a relationship. Don’t just tell someone “I care about this project, team, etc.,” show them with action. Our team at Skybox worked tirelessly amidst the pandemic to meet a five month timeline for our Fortune 10 customer. Check out how we did it.

Transparency. Be an open book.

Keep honest and open communication by letting others see and understand what you are doing and how you are doing it. Admit and take responsibility when you fail. No one expects perfection. When you don’t know something or you make a mistake, your integrity will stand out to those around you when you fall on your sword. At Skybox, we pride ourselves in offering complete transparency to our customers through the development process. Whether it is a ground-up build-to-suit or a turn-key fit out, Skybox partners with our clients to provide step by step transparency and control in order to create the most optimal datacenter solution. This kind of transparent communication is even more essential with an international client half way across the globe in Perth, Australia. Here's how Skybox kept our client DUG up to speed and in the driver's seat.

Authenticity. Keep it real. Say the hard things.

No one likes fluff. Let your co-workers, supervisors and clients know that you will say what needs to be said, even when others won’t. As much as we all want to be liked, we will lose the respect of those around us if we can’t be honest and truthful. Initiate tough conversations and make the effort to resolve differences and conflict sooner than later. This kind of practice can help build trust, re-align expectations and avoid relational damage such as passive-aggressive behavior. Though challenging in the moment, being honest will strengthen those relationships over time. As Gordon Kellerman shared in his Unboxed interview, our team prides itself on being authentic and upfront, “Trust and relationships are the fuel for our team.” When challenges arise, Skybox prioritizes open, safe conversations to bring quick and fair resolution.

In a world that can easily be driven by the inherent uncertainty and “what if’s” of life, trust is the only sure way forward. How can you build even more trust with others? Ask those around you how you are doing and where you can make changes to grow. Your transparency and authenticity will build trust, as will the competency you can gain through their input. Win-win.