Stephen offers 8 Trust Tips to Recession-Proof Your CareerApril 16th, 2008 by link
As speculation continues on whether or not we’ve entered a recession, the fact remains that March marked 80,000 U.S. jobs lost—the worst monthly drop in 5 years, raising the unemployment rate to 5.1 percent. Analysts say the bloodletting will continue at unprecedented rates as the economy continues to trend down. Meanwhile, workers sit huddled in their cubes wondering who will be next. Rather than fear the unknown, learn how to be the employee that is too valuable to layoff with 8 Tips that will give you the edge when the axe starts to fall.
It’s no secret that the best opportunities, promotions, and assignments go to the team members who can be trusted to get the job done. These are often the same people who get to stick around when the going gets tough. The fastest way to increase trust—and therefore your value to the company—is to demonstrate behaviors of character and competence. A basic understanding of these behaviors will help make your organization more profitable, you more promotable, and your relationships more energizing:
1) Talk Straight & Create Transparency—Tell the truth in a way people can verify and leave the right impression. Err on the side of disclosure—no hidden agendas. The more people trust you, the faster you can work (think less red-tape). Counterfeits such as beating around the bush, withholding information, flattery, and spinning actually damage trust and effectiveness.
2) Demonstrate Respect & Show Loyalty—Behave in ways that show fundamental respect for people. Exhibit caring and concern. Give credit where credit is due and speak about people as though they were present. Counterfeits—like faking respect or concern or, worse yet, showing respect for some (those who can help you), but not for all (those who can’t)—diminish trust quickly.
3) Right Wrongs—Make things right when you’re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Demonstrate personal humility, and don’t let pride get in the way of doing the right thing. Don’t rationalize, deny, or justify wrongs, and never cover things up!
4) Deliver Results & Practice Accountability—If you need to build trust fast, deliver results. Results give you instant credibility and instant trust, demonstrating that you add value; that you can contribute and perform. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver, and don’t make excuses for not delivering. Take responsibility for the results and hold yourself accountable.
5) Get Better—Continuously improve. Take feedback for the learning opportunity it is and increase your capabilities. When people see you as a learning, growing person, they develop confidence in your ability to succeed in a rapidly changing environment, enabling you to build high-trust relationships and move with incredible speed. (Efficiency costs the company less—improving their bottom line and your skill set.)
6) Confront Reality & Clarify Expectations—Lead out courageously in conversation and take the tough issues head-on. Then clarify expectations by creating a shared agreement about what is to be done up front. Pin down the specifics (results, deadlines, or dollars and cents).
7) Listen First—Really listen (genuinely seek to understand another person’s thoughts, feelings, experience, and point of view), and do it first (before you try to diagnose, influence, or prescribe). Listening first and speaking last helps you make better decisions, directly impacting the positive track record you’re building.
8) Make and Keep Commitments—Say what you’re going to do, then do it. Keeping commitments is the quickest way to build trust in any relationship. Its opposite—to break commitments or violate promises—is, without question, the quickest way to destroy trust. Be careful with the commitments you make. Be sure you can deliver, and then do.
Trust is free and priceless. Once established, trust increases speed and reduces cost in all relationships and transactions, making you more productive and your employer happy. If you practice these behaviors, you will become more effective. You will save yourself—and your company—time and money. Most importantly, you will reap the rewards of being the employee that is so valuable—so trusted—that the company cannot afford to lose you.