Leaving parts out. Withholding information. False statements. Stretching the truth. Hiding details. Misrepresentation. Spin-doctoring.

You may not mean to communicate distrust, but are you doing it by accident?

Your communication gives all sorts of clues.  If you want to express sincerity and build trust do this with your communication:

  • KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR NOSE. What? I know it sounds strange, but it is true!  “Nose touching is a sign of fibbing”, according to Dr. Alan Hirsch of The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. This is because certain tissues in the nose usually engorge when a person is telling a lie, releasing histamine and making the nose itch.” Who knew?!?
  • PALMS UP. Keep your fingers close to each other with your palms up; this communicates that you are open and honest. (If you spread your fingers you likely communicate I need something, so keep those fingers closed.)
  • FROM THE HEART. Credit for this goes to Don Khoury. It is a gesture where your hands begin folded over your heart and then extend outward. (Watch Non-Verbal Leadership Communication in Business and fast forward the video to the 12:43 mark to see it in action.)
  • ARMS OPEN. When your arms are open, you are perceived as not hiding anything. Crossing your arms in front of you can, but doesn’t always, mean you are guarded or closed off.
  • DETAILED STORY. Liars leave out details in fear of forgetting what they said. Tell your stories with the who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Not only will it communicate your sincerity, it can hold attention (if it isn’t TOO detailed).
  • EYE CONTACT. Not just any kind of eye contact – the right amount of eye contact. Is your eye contact too strong? Is it communicating I’m trying to show you who is in control or does it show cultural insensitivity?  Is it too weak? Is it communicating I don’t believe what I am saying either?  Use the amount of eye contact that is appropriate for the situation AND the persons you are communicating with.

“In order to weather storms thrown by competition and build a stronger company vision, it is important for organizations to be able to create a strong sense of trust in the workplace.” (All Things Talent)

Whether you are a leader or an individual contributor, creating an environment of trust is an important component to success. It is the foundation of psychologically safe workplaces. What are you doing to create trust in your organization?

For more information on trust in the workplace:

Be a leader Your Employees Trust

Trust and Courageous Leadership