High trust companies outperform low trust companies on total shareholder ROI by more than 280%. What's the main ingredient of a high trust company?

Relationships. Healthy, meaningful, trustworthy relationships between people who work together at all levels of responsibility. For more than 25 years, my company has researched trust in workplaces around the world. In that time, we've learned that there are four qualities people who build and sustain high trust relationships have.

You can emulate these qualities. Consider what steps you can take to develop your:

1. Awareness

Be willing to grow in your awareness. To become self-aware. How do you show up? How do others experience you? Tune in to the impact of your behavior.

The truth? Not everyone wants to grow in awareness. It's not easy! You've got to own what you see. What others see.

Yet, self-awareness is the ticket to ride if you want high trust relationships where people know they can rely on you. Depend on you. Trust you to have their best interests at heart.

2. Courage

I'll be straight with you. It takes courage to do what it takes to change your behavior when it's not aligned with how you want to be perceived. It can feel awkward, at first, trying on new ways of behaving. Yet, you'll be rewarded for getting out of your rut and shedding trust-breaking habits.

The trick is to keep in mind why you're committing to shifting your behavior. You want the benefits that trusting relationships offer, right? The commitment. The energy. The confidence.

You don't want lack of trusting connections at work to be the one thing holding you back.

3. Compassion

And yet-you will drop the ball when it comes to trust, occasionally. That's simply the nature of human relationships. It's been proven that there are sixteen behaviors people need to see from you to feel safe extending trust to you. What do you suppose the chances are of you consistently practicing more than a dozen behaviors day-in, day-out?

You're human! And, so is everyone else. Broken trust is a natural outcome of people working together in fast-paced, high-pressure environments.

Embrace a compassionate outlook. Both for yourself and other people. Make it safe for people to be human. You build trust when you embrace imperfection. When you look beyond yourself, give the benefit of the doubt, and give a second chance.

4. Conviction

Dig deep. Why are relationships important to you? Why does trust matter? Claim those convictions. Don't let them go. Leverage them in the good times and bad. Hardwire relationship maintenance into the way you do business every day.

Keep your relationships front and center. Remember-they're the true reason you stay in the game.