Like milk is to healthy bones, trust is to healthy professional relationships. And without milk, your bones can become weak, and without trust, the foundation of your career can crumble.
Related: 15 Trust-Building Practices for Leaders
How do you strengthen your credibility in the office, to make sure co-workers and management see you as trustworthy? Here are 18 principles, or ways you can gain others’ trust at work, to keep in mind, adapted from Follow Your Conscience by Frank Sonnenberg, author of Marketing to Win and Managing with a Conscience. Because frail bones and shaky professional habits aren’t the right ingredients for the next employee of the month, or a boss-to-be.
1. Your reputation is their first impression.
2. Be knowledgeable and remain current in your field.
3. Stay focused. Trying to be all things to all people is a guaranteed recipe for mediocrity.
4. Never cut corners.
5. At the end of the day, you’re judged by the value that you provide.
6. Surround yourself with people who have a high degree of integrity.
Related: 9 Tips to Help You Strengthen Your Integrity
7. Typos and grammatical errors loom larger than life.
8. Remain transparent. (You’ll never be faulted for communicating too much.)
9. Reliable and consistent behavior on your part allows people to anticipate what you’ll do in the future.
10. Do what’s right, even if nobody is looking.
12. Being an expert in one area doesn’t make you an expert in everything.
13. Admit when you’re wrong.
14. Don’t submit unfinished work as complete.
15. Never confuse quantity with quality.
16. People who “hard sell” don’t always have the facts on their side.
17. Great talent means nothing if you’re not dependable.
18. It’s not only what you bring to the table but how you serve it.