3 Ways To Build Trust As A Leader, Today!
Trust is one of many ways to optimize the effectiveness of leaders and managers. Managers focus on the daily results of processes and procedures whereas leaders focus on long term goals for the company or organization. Managers see numbers and their results while leaders see people and their skills. Trust is critical to both roles. As a manager, if you dictate and expect to be ‘obeyed’, your staff will not feel valued or inclined to take the requested action. As a leader, trust inspires loyalty and contribution. Developing trust takes time, and here are some ways you can start establishing it today.
Your Team Will Trust You When You Mean (and Do) What You Say
You may not intend to say one thing and do another. The effect of regularly not following through on your commitments will quickly undermine accountability to your team. It may be your intention to finish a report that someone needs by Wednesday. If they come to you on Thursday and you haven’t started it, they will lose the ability to rely on you to do what you say you will do..
Consistency is key. If you expect something from your team, you must also honor that. Go above and beyond to exceed timelines and expectations, and your team will begin to match that. Deliver the report on Tuesday so your team members can get started sooner and create a high-quality presentation. Have the work schedule posted 2 days early to give coworkers time to plan. If you constantly go back on your word, you will lose credibility as a leader.
Strive to Communicate Well. This Will Build Trust, Quickly & Effectively
Good communication encompaseses more than just what you say. It can be written, verbal, physical, an eye roll, or an assumption. It includes what you say and also how you say it.
- When you are meeting with someone, listen fully, make eye contact, engage with your body language, and ask questions. Few things make someone feel like you aren’t even listening to them like checking your phone during a conversation.
- Ask open-ended questions like “What is holding this team back” or “How should we solve this problem”. You will get fresh new ideas, and the act of asking builds trust and confidence.
- Match your communication style to your audience. Are you a direct communicator talking to someone who is more indirect? Temper your words and soften your message to give them time to listen, process and respond. Engaging with your team allows them to trust that you value them and their skills.
Make that open communication a 2-way street, and encourage your team members to express their ideas and opinions. Ensure everyone’s voice is heard in meetings, and that all your team members are showing respect and listening to each other. While providing constructive feedback to your team is essential, allowing them to bring feedback to you for consideration is empowering and encourages trust in you as a leader.
Trust Is Your Ability To Take Responsibility, and Give Credit
It should go without saying that when it comes to being a great leader, the buck stops with you. If there are shortfalls or mistakes, it is up to you to accept responsibility and come up with a plan to overcome them. If you simply blame your team, 2 things will happen: you will lose credibility with them, and the problem will still be there. Taking responsibility assures your team that they are free to make mistakes and try new things to come up with solutions.
On the flip side, when things go perfectly, be sure you aren’t taking all the credit. Showcase your team’s talents and how they each have contributed to the final product. This shows your team members that you value them as individuals, rather than simply as cogs in a machine. They will be empowered to continue to meet and exceed expectations.
Leaders ask a lot of their team members. People are asked to voice their ideas, meet tight deadlines, work under pressure, and step out of their comfort zones. Without a high level of trust, these requirements soon erode an employee’s happiness and productivity. Conflict and dissatisfaction take over and projects are harder to complete. Without trust, employees won’t level with you—at best, you’ll learn either non-truths or part truths. Having the confidence of your team members that you will always do what is expected will lead to greater job satisfaction and therefore higher productivity from your team.
Very best wishes for your every success,