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Being Trustworthy - Purple Squirrel Behavior 1

Last week, I shared a post about behaviors that would help you to be a purple squirrel and maximize your potential. The first behavior involves being trustworthy, so I thought I'd share some more specifics.


Being trustworthy is foundational to a successful career.

Behaviors of People Who Aren't Trustworthy

When you think about someone you don’t trust, what traits and behaviors do they exhibit? Some things that come to mind for me are people who:

  • Are disrespectful to others

  • Are not very authentic and shapeshift depending on the group they are with

  • Don't tell the truth

  • Throw others under the bus

  • Blame others or circumstances

  • Gossip

  • Take credit for the work of others

Behaviors of Trustworthy People

On the flip side, when you think about someone that you trust at work, what traits and behaviors do they exhibit? Probably mostly the opposite of the above.

Below are four behaviors to promote trust at work:

  • Show respect – Everyone wants and deserves to be treated with respect at work. So, what exactly is respect? It is treating someone in a way that shows you care about their well-being and consider them a person of worth. Disrespectful behaviors include gossiping, bullying, not listening, being close-minded, not keeping your word, withholding information, and acting like you are superior. Remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

  • Be authentic – This means living your life according to your own values and goals, rather than those of other people. It is being true to yourself, regardless of the pressure you are under to act otherwise.

  • Demonstrate integrity – C.S. Lewis defines integrity as doing the right thing for the right reason, even when no one is looking. Integrity is essentially making sure that the things that you say and things that you do are in alignment.

    • Are honest

    • Keep confidences

    • Do what they say they will do

    • Take responsibility when needed

    • Don’t cut corners

    • Admit mistakes

  • Extend trust to others – This involves giving others the benefit of the doubt and trusting them. Keep in mind that no one likes to be micromanaged – and you don’t have to be a manager to micromanage. Micromanaging is being overly involved in others’ work and up in their “bizness."

How are you doing?

On a scale of (1) being lowest and (5) being highest, how do you think others would rate you in each of these areas? If there is an area where improvement is needed, put together a plan to do it! There is really nothing more important than trust. It is absolutely critical to relationships inside and outside of work.

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