You may not often think of trust in relation to productivity but there’s a very direct correlation, especially for small businesses.
What is trust in a business relationship? It can be quite different than in our personal lives, of course. I’ve recently weathered the end of a 16-year marriage which was quite a life lesson in trust. And, while we can certainly have business relationships longer than this, the trust element is not all-encompassing – it’s limited to delivering on work-related promises. This means things like having clear expectations, establishing goals and deadlines and meeting them, respecting each other’s time, being honest about feedback, keeping communication open and relevant, and, of course, doing good work or selling reliable products.
“Trust is your willingness to be open, vulnerable and courageous based on positive expectations.” — Lea Brovedani
Having established trusting relationships helps us be more efficient because our customers will know we have their best interests at heart. They will trust our expertise and experience, and not question every small action. They will know that we’ll meet deadlines and deliver on promises. They will tell us when things just aren’t ‘right’ so we can make them better. Communication is efficient and not onerous, whatever the method.
Building trust isn’t easy or instant but it is a key success factor for small businesses, which is why we need to constantly have it in our awareness and be working to be more trustworthy.