Speaking With Your Peers

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speaking with your peers

Speaking With Your Peers

When we interact with our peers at work, they might be thinking about a couple of things. They want to know if we have their backs. Our peers may also question if we are for or against them. We need to make building trust a priority when speaking with our peers.

Below are three ways we can build trust with our peers.

1. Be Open And Honest

We can build trust by being open and forthcoming about our struggles and thoughts. We don’t need to worry about seeming vulnerable or being concerned about what others may think.

Consider the following:

  • Take Ownership – None of us are perfect. If we want to build trust with our peers, we need to take ownership when we make a mistake. For example, one way to take ownership is to say, “yes, I made a mistake.” Instead of trying to make an excuse or correct the issue and prove we didn’t make a mistake, a simple, “Hi Angela, thank you for catching my error in the monthly reports. I will correct it immediately.” When we take ownership, we build trust and authenticity. speaking with our peers
  • Be Honest – When speaking with our peers, we want to ensure we are honest. For example, let’s say we are in a meeting, and our superior calls on us to discuss our sales numbers. Our colleagues know our sales numbers, but we also want to impress our boss. Inflating our numbers might look good in the meeting, but our colleagues will know we are being dishonest. Our colleagues might lose trust in us when they see we are being disingenuous.
  • Admit We Don’t Know – None of us want to feel like we don’t know the answer in our jobs. However, being open and honest means admitting when we don’t know something. It may feel scary to admit we don’t know the answer, but the truth is, it will build more trust with our colleagues.

Being open and honest when speaking with our peers will help us build trust and gain credibility.


2. Be Relatable

Part of building trust with our peers is feeling connected. Our colleagues want to feel like we are right there with them, rather than above them looking down.

Consider the following

  • Share Challenges – Sharing the challenges we face can make our peers feel more connected to us because they are likely going through similar situations. For example, if we are having trouble meeting the new sales goals, we can share this with our colleagues. They may also be having a hard time meeting the latest sales goals. Sharing challenges shows our peers we are right there with them.
  • Troubleshooting – Another way to be relatable to our peers is to share troubleshooting advice. For example, if we recently shared some challenges we were facing, but were able to find a solution, we can share this solution with our peers. Our peers will appreciate our willingness to share what has helped us overcome our challenges.speaking with your peers
  • Follow Through – If we want our peers to trust us and feel like we are right there with them, we must ensure we follow through. For example, if we say we will help them finish their month-end reporting, we need to ensure we follow through and help. Or, if our peers are waiting on us to get them assets, we need to make sure we do what we said we would do. Follow-through is critical when building trust with our peers.

We show our peers we trust them when we open up about our challenges and share troubleshooting advice.


3. Show We Care

When interacting with others on our level, we need to ensure we show we care. Showing we care will build trust. 

Consider the following:

  • Know Our Peers – To gain the trust of our peers; we have to get to know them. This means taking time to engage in conversations. For example, after the weekend, we can ask our colleagues what they did over the weekend. We can also ask what they have going on that week. The key to getting to know our peers is to be authentic in our conversations and show them we care by actively listening to what they say.
  • Give Credit – Giving credit to our peers is critical to building trust. Taking credit for something someone else did will break trust immediately. For example, if we discuss an idea with our peers and then decide to share this idea during a meeting, we need to ensure we give our peers credit for the idea. 
  • Offer Support – Another way we can show we care is to offer our peers support. For example, if our colleague has shared their project is overwhelming, we can offer to help take a few things off their plate so they can finish their project. Of course, we must ensure we have the time and ability to do this. However, even if there is nothing we can do, the help offer shows we care.

Showing our peers we care is essential when building and maintaining trust.

Trust is a critical feeling when interacting with those on our level.


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