As HR leaders and professionals continue to fight for (and maintain) their seat at the table, it’s important to move beyond just being an expert into a role of being a trusted advisor to the organization.
An expert is someone “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.” While being a trusted advisor means you have gained the trust and responsibility of others, especially leadership.
There are a variety of factors and focuses that need adjusting to get from expert to trusted advisor, but the most important is building trust and solid communication.
Building trust involves connecting with others, cultivating relationships, and communicating effectively and respectfully.
To connect, cultivate, and communicate effectively:
- Be present and visible
- Visit staff member workspaces
- Ask to be invited to meetings
- Proactively ask for feedback and insight
- Share things about yourself with others
- Reach out to others rather than waiting for “the” email or phone call
- Check in regularly
- Honor confidences
- Focus more on the “who” than the “what” or “how"
- Support, guide, and mentor
- Don’t fear the difficult conversations
- Listen, listen, and listen
It’s also important to recognize the different communication styles of colleagues, coworkers, and leadership.
By recognizing the different communication styles of the colleagues with whom you're interacting, more effective and respectful relationships can come about.
Trust is built by putting forth the effort to connect, cultivate, and communicate with others.