Difficult to earn and easily lost, trust is one of the most important principles of great leadership. A team’s productivity and success is due in large part to the amount of trust they have for their leaders. So, it’s important to ensure you’re building and maintaining a culture of trust, honesty, and open communication.
Here are a few quick tips to remember along the way.
Get your hands dirty
Sometimes it’s important to roll up your sleeves and show you aren’t afraid of a little heavy lifting. Shared experience can be a powerful tool. If your employees know you too have been in the trenches, they’re more apt to put their trust in your leadership and expertise.
Consistency is a major part of building trust. From how you respond to challenges to how you reward—or reprimand—individual employees, it’s important to keep it fair and balanced. Favoritism breeds resentment. If your people feel they are receiving inconsistent leadership, their trust that they can depend on you to make the right choices in any situation will begin to dwindle.
Keep the lines of communication open
It’s important to be approachable. A leader needs to be informed, and if your employees are afraid to communicate their needs or concerns, you’re only setting yourself up to be blindsided. Strive to create a relationship based on open and honest communication with the people you lead to ensure they trust you enough to not only listen to what they have to say, but also take it to heart.
Keep the “I” out of team
If you want to win as a team, you must also be prepared to lose as a team. Nothing destroys trust more than a leader who shares in successes, but is quick to dispel responsibility in defeat. Show your employees you’re just as willing to cross the finish line with them as you are to share in failures.
Build a proven track record
This one may take some time, but a long-standing pattern of great leadership is a trust builder in itself. This is especially important for new leaders to understand. Employees may be skeptical of a new leader’s abilities until they’ve proven themselves on the field of battle. But, patience and a steadfast commitment to the principles of great leadership will eventually build that trust.
What are some other ways to build trust among your employees? How has a leader earned trust from you? Let us know in the comments section below.
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