Building trust: Competence

Competence is your ability to do something efficiently and successfully. When others perceive you as competent, they believe that you have the skills and knowledge to do what you say you will.

This allows them to perceive you as dependable, reliable, and predictable — all of which are essential drivers of trust.

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Trust isn’t easy to build
  • It usually develops after you and another person have spent some time interacting and assessing each other’s character.
  • Three of the most readable indicators of trust: Competence, Benevolence and Integrity.
  • If all goes well and that trust builds, you start to feel psychologically safe and can form a stable belief about one another.
  • Remote work has made all of this even more difficult to do.

Integrity is how you adhere to strong moral principles and how honest you are. Integrity is hard to judge and critical for trust building.

A lot of behaviors at work are seen as instrumental and strategic, leaving people ambiguous about whether actions are coming from underlying values or merely a façade. Thus, the more opportunities you have to articulate your values explicitly and to allow team members to see your values in action, the more likely they will have faith in you and invest their trust in you.

Benevolence is the quality of being well-meaning and the degree to which you have others interests at heart.

Other will grow to trust you based on the extent to which they believe you care about their interests, and have the motivation to go beyond your self-needs to cater to the team’s needs.

Many of us are interacting through our screens and working on hybrid teams with people located in various areas of the world who we’re not likely to meet face-to-face anytime soon. We lack the luxury of regularly observing our peers in-person, making it harder to gauge their intentions, values, and characters (and vice versa).

This is a problem. Without it, you may not feel comfortable bringing your full self to work.

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RELATED IDEAS

Trust makes us feel psychologically safe at the workplace. One can focus on creative, collaborative work where there is a free flow of ideas and everyone is benefiting from each other’s energy. One can freely ask for support, test new ideas, and be oneself without any fear of judgement.

Trustworthy colleagues result in a positive, safe and comfortable work environment that translates into better work. There is less stress, faster decision making and more innovation.

How To Build And Maintain Trust When You Start A New Job

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We’ve been doubling the amount of people in our product engineering over the past few years, and you just can’t do the same things you used to do.

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The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.

How to be Remote-First When You Still Have an Office

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