Recently, I spoke with leadership expert, coach, and author Robb Holman, who provided some unique insights on building trust. In Robb's latest book, All In: How Impactful Teams Build Trust From the Inside Out, he adeptly converts the concept of team trust into concrete actions. This empowers the reader to elevate his/her effectiveness. I asked Robb about building trust and how to act on it. Here are some highlights from our discussion.

How do you build trust that lasts?

Be present. 

Think of a time when you were with someone, perhaps a team member, who was completely undistracted. They were giving their undivided attention to you. In a sense, they made you feel as if you were the only person on earth. How did it make you feel?

Valued? Honored? Respected? Loved? Appreciated?

Presence is powerful. It is not self-seeking. It does not think about the next meeting, the leaky faucet that needs fixing, or the next creative idea. When you are present, the rest of the world fades away beyond that one-on-one interaction. It's a grand opportunity to get to know the other person. As you get more acquainted, you get a feel for the character, ability, and truth of that person. This is where the foundation of trust, which builds credibility, begins.

Should you wait for others to be more present?

No, be the leader and go first.  

If you want more trusting relationships with team members, it starts with you. It requires you to be present. The most effective way for you to be present is by practicing connection with others. This is where proactive communication comes in. It's the best way to serve others.

What's one proactive step to better connect with others?

In 2017, The New York Times best-selling author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, teamed up with Paul White to write The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. The follow-up book takes the love languages and applies them to the workplace.

When we intentionally and consistently express appreciation to our team members, they can't help but feel valued.

Consider the last time you did something thoughtful for a team member.

Which of the appreciation languages would it fall under? Gift-giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, or physical touch?  Whether it's an impromptu meeting (quality time), a kind handshake (physical touch), or praise for a job well done (words of affirmation), these communication styles reveal our preferences.

So, ask yourself, "Who is one team member you can serve more intentionally in the next 30 days with one or more of these appreciation languages?"

Published on: Nov 13, 2019
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