An effective way to build trust as a leader
Trust doesn’t come with your title. It is the glue that binds a leader to her/his followers and provides the capacity for organizational and leadership success. As a leader of your organization, it’s essential that you establish trust with your team and continue to nurture that trust, for an increase in productivity, engagement, and accountability.
I have shared a few strategies that could help nurture that trust and develop a stronger connection amongst team members which is a win for everyone.
Trust by default
Human beings have a tendency to reciprocate. We do favors, give gifts to those who have done these things to us in the past.
In the same way, trust is a two-way street. You must extend trust in order to gain trust. You need to have faith in your employees if you want them to trust you. This feeling of trust from leadership empowers the employees to leverage their strength and expertise, nurtures loyalty, and improves retention. So, assign projects and tasks that reflect this trust.
Demonstrate a clear vision
Employees want to feel that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. They look up to the leaders for vision and mission. And, a true leader will have a compelling vision that entices people to follow.
Share a vision that will energize employees by providing them with an exciting picture of the future. Get them on board with new initiatives and produce meaningful work.
As a leader make sure they’re well equipped with not just a mission statement, but a breakdown of how that translates to their team goals and objectives.
Simone Weil the philosopher said ” attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. “
It is the simplest and easiest form of leadership. Moreover, it is the foundation of trust. Yet it is underestimated, overlooked, and discounted as a true leadership skill.
The team approaches you because they believe you. Don’t turn them away. Make eye contact, smile, and listen to what they say. You may not solve their problem, but you have already given them your understanding.
Transparency is about communicating information at the right time and making information easily accessible across your teams.
Your employees don’t want to feel like they’re the last to know about big changes. So, keep them up-to-date with developments in real-time—even better, solicit their feedback as you go.
Mistakes are inevitable. Leaders are not immune to failure. However, they have the power to face the failures head-on. They neither avoid nor blame it on the employees.
Acknowledge the problem and work along with the team to find the best way to sort it out, how not to repeat it in the future. Taking responsibility shows that you are just as human as the rest of the team and that there is always room for improvement.
Just as important as owning mistakes is giving credit to the talented and hard-working employees who contribute to each and every win. Your teams come together to turn your vision into a reality, and they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.
Foster a culture of recognition. Make time to shine a light on achievements and encourage your teams to celebrate their wins.
As a leader, you would have accumulated a wealth of knowledge. Knowledge is power in any world, so share some knowledge with others. When you share knowledge, it instills confidence among your team members that they are led by the right person. They know you have worked hard to reach this position.
Teach people what you have learned over the years, so they can develop into leaders themselves. You want to surround yourself with the best people, and that’s easier to do when you share your training and knowledge.
Leaders who keep their promises boost performance, enhance their credibility, inspire and engage stakeholders, and build trust; those who break promises lose credibility and trust.
When you make a promise or commit to do something, stick to it. You’ll be creating a more positive work environment for everyone.
Trust is at the heart of every relationship, and it’s especially crucial in the workplace. In fact, the primary factor affecting employee productivity is based on the trust built between the employee and the leader. Organizations that have high levels of trust have high levels of employee commitment, advocacy, and retention.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.