Authentic leadership relies on persuasion and persuasion relies on trust. Trust is the most important asset that any organisation, brand, product, leader, or individual can have. Trust is something that needs to be earned and cannot just be obtained. As a leader – what can you do to earn trust?
1. Build rapport by getting to know your team. What do they like, what are they interested in, what is their ‘why’ and ‘WIFM’ – ie what is their ‘what’s in it for me’. Do you have any areas in common?
2. Be Accountable – Say “I will do” – rather than “Ill try”.
3. Keep promises – Do what you say you will do. Don’t make people ask for things you have already committed to.
4. Be honest – Your measure of integrity is determined by how honest you are to others and yourself. Don’t hide mistakes – own them and learn from them.
5. Under-promise and over-deliver – give yourself a stretch goal by all means but overexceeding builds confidence rather than continual disappointment.
6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. People will generally trust communication that is frequent, consistent and reliable. If you only communicate ‘bad news’ or every once in a while with your team, your communication is going to be overtaken by your team already having a negative perception. Also, when framing communication – think about using the What, Why, How, When and Where as a guide.
7. Put yourself in your team’s shoes. Think about the impact of things from other’s perspective as well as your own.
8. Back your team up. If one of your team members make a mistake – ultimately, this is also your responsibility. Own it together and focus on fixing it and learning from it.
We all know leaders have the ability to ultimately make or break a team. Learning how to build trust is a critical step in your success of building high performing teams and retaining top talent.
What strategies do you adopt to build trust in your team?