Building Trust in Unlikely Places

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Trust is built in the small moments.

As leaders, we find ourselves in pivotal situations every single day. We may not realize them at the time as being pivotal, but later in the day or the next, we understand just how important they were.

And if we’re smart (or at least aware) we may think, “Did I do the right thing at the time?”

We won’t always be able to make the right call or do the right thing in the moment, but we can always choose whether we make ourselves available to the other person or not.

Let me give you an example.

The other day, I was on my way to meet some colleagues for lunch, and as I was walking down the hall, I noticed one of my employees was struggling with something. Now, I wanted to meet with my friends because I hadn’t seen for weeks, and I really didn’t feel like stopping to see what was troubling my employee. I mean, he’ll figure out whatever it is he is working on. Why can’t I leave him be so I can enjoy lunch with my friends? I deserve this time for myself, don’t I?

Yes, of course I do.

But I decided to make myself available and be there for my employee. I asked him what was happening, and he explained that he had just lost his pet dog of 14 years, and he and his family were devastated. I consoled him and talked with him in my office for the next 10 minutes helping him with his grieving. Soon he said he was feeling a little better and he thanked me for taking notice.

So how do you think that employee feels about our relationship now? Do you think he feels appreciated, valued, and respected? Do you think trust was built in that moment?

Of course it was. And it would not have happened if I hadn’t taken the time to be aware and make myself available for him right then and there.

It’s the small moments that build trust. It’s the small moments that bring big results. It’s the small moments that make us who we are.

How will you make the most of the small moments at work, in life, with the people who matter most, and the people who need it most?

You never know when the time is right or who is in need, so decide to make yourself available as often as you can. It may mean taking time away from what you really want to do, but the trust you build in those small moments will bring results and rewards to both of you many times over for months and years to come.

Your Mindful Moment:

Trust takes time, don’t let it slip away, make the most of each moment.

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