Trust as a Leadership Tool
“Trust is like a paper once it’s crumpled it can’t be perfect again.”– Unknown Author
Grading your leadership trust by you is one thing, yet do your employees grade you the same way? You already have trust in your own leadership, and you need to earn the trust from your employees. If you don’t have trust in your leadership then how can your employees trust you?
“The trust of the people in the leaders reflects the confidence of the leaders in the people.”
Trust is one of the most powerful tools you have. How you use it can either make or break you as a leader. The question “Can I trust you?” is always there each time you interact with other people. This gets carried over as you expect specific things the other person says and does.
“We can build our leadership upon fear, obligation, or trust. However, only a foundation of trust results in the collaboration and goodwill necessary to achieve our peak performance.”
~ Roger Allen, Organizational Design Expert
For many, trust is the centerpiece of leadership. Knowing that trust is the key or cornerstone of your leadership
“Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information.” – Stephen M.R. Covey
Too many leaders don’t realize that when you talk negatively to an employee, this negatively impact their work. Sometimes this leads to a fear based work culture that makes everyone on edge & productivity slows down. Fearful employees are rarely able to work at their best.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, discussing issues positively with your employees needs to give them the opportunity to express themselves and give feedback that will not have consequences. Look at the words you use that match the actions talked about. How comfortable are your employees to approach you with concerns or even ideas?
“It doesn’t matter how competent you are as a leader, you won’t get very far if your team doesn’t trust you.” -Heidi Grant Halvorson
The more leaders trust employees, the more responsibilities leaders give to them. The more trust employees have with their leaders, the more productive they are for them. Both statements have merit. It just depends on how you believe trust works for you.
Leaders Inspire Trust
Inspiring trust is critical. People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader unless they trust them most likely never had trust returned to them as they had it not take place when someone said they would do something for them.
Trust is confidence born of two dimensions: character and competence.
“Trust happens when leaders are transparent.” – Jack Welch
Competence – Trust is difficult in scenarios where there are significant mismatches in the combination of skills and experiences each individual brings to an endeavor.
A trusted leader maintains a calm and collected demeanor, even under fire.
“Trust starts with trustworthy leadership. It must be built into the corporate culture.”
– Barbara Brooks Kimmel
Trust as a Leadership Style
Inspiring trust is critical. People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader unless they trust them. When you are the leader, it’s easy to lose sight of why people trust you to lead them. The opposite can occur depending on the specific circumstance. When leaders say one thing and then do the opposite, employees may think twice about trusting you again.
The Importance of Trust: The main questions to ask are: – Do you trust yourself? Do you trust others?
A lack of leadership development undermines a key aspect of culture that drives high-performance: trust. By first establishing the basis of trust, leaders can give responsibilities to employees. The more productive employees are with these responsibilities, leaders can trust employees to generate, create, and produce the results leaders look for. Sometimes employees go beyond as they follow you.
If your team trusts you in good times, they are even more likely to stand with you during the challenging times. Actions drive how others perceive and react to leaders.
Act With Integrity and Courage
“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.”
The commitment to act from a place of integrity
Embracing courage requires you to be more confident in what you do. Leadership grows from courage and integrity. Integrity builds valuable trust between people Integrity involves your moral judgment, charisma, honesty and leadership values.
Treating others the way you want to be treated demonstrates to your employees that you have the integrity to inspire them to follow you. Supporting your vision and ideas allows leaders to work with employees who can give feedback and generate ideas for greater results.
Building and Sustaining Trust
“You become a leader when people trust you… Being trustworthy is the biggest quality of a leader.” -Anant Dev Asheesh
Taking the risk in building and sustaining trust with your employees is a big task. You need to know your employees and how you can motivate and inspire them to complete the goals set out for them. Trusting your employees by empowering them to take responsibility of what they produce can extend letting go of control and not micromanage them has employees trust in their leaders. When trust is high, communication is easier and more effective.
Being apprehensive, afraid of making a mistake needs you to gain confidence as a leader. At the same time, you need to experience trust and be able to have trust in others. How well you establish trust with your employees can benefit your leadership. The more trust you have of your employees, employees can see the value of trusting you as their leader. Drawing on your skills and talent to accomplish your goals, you need to have trust in your employees and they trust in you navigating the right direction to take the organization.