Trust maybe the most important factor in successful relationships. As a leader, you have to have success relationships with your team! Without trust, you can’t have engaged relationships and without engaged relationships you won’t be a successful leader.
Building trust is hard than losing trust!
I have my 9 favorite actions I watch for in leaders (that help build trust).
- Always admit when you are wrong! No one is perfect… Taking ownership for when you are wrong or made a mistake is a critical part of building trust. It always is a great way to demonstrate to your team what behavior is important to you. Stand up, admit the mistake and discuss what you will do better next time. This action helps show the team that you are with them 100%.
- Praise in public – reprimand in private! The good should be shared with everyone. The not so good – well, share it with the only person that needs to improve. I used to use staff meeting times and daily start-up meetings to share all “atta-boys/girls” with the team. Share the who it is for, what it was for and where it came from. Doing 1:1’s, I would address any concerns with the individual.
- Keep your team informed! Communication is something that can be worked on all the time. As a leader you will be challenged to make sure that you get communications right. Set up a process that keeps you communicating with your team on the important items.
- Confidentiality is key! Make sure you do not violate your teams confidentiality.
- Follow-up immediately! If you say you are going to do something, make sure you jump on it right away and get it done. This is something you want your team to do everyday with their work assignments – if you don’t do your part… They will stop doing their part.
- Don’t be a hypocrite! My favorite quote I heard growing up was, “don’t do what I do, do what I tell you to do.” Leaders words and actions should match.
- Don’t play favorites! There are always people within your teams that you find are easier to manage, build a relationship with and just be around. As a leader, you have to treat everyone the same. If you best employee is late – he/she should get the same message as any other employee.
- Model compassion and encouragement! When I observe a leader that does both compassion and encouragement – it draws you in. You want to be around this person. It is hard not to want to follow this person. Extremely difficult to do – every time. It is important to try to do all the time.
- Be yourself! You don’t need to be someone else. Take the parts you like in others that will improve you, but you need to build those from the inside out. You have to make sure that what you are doing is you – rather than someone else. Be real!
In today’s world, trust is significantly lower than any other time. We have world leaders, corporate heads, media folks and so on – that are poster folks for failure to build trust. Reread those 9 actions and apply them to folks… Yup, it is bad out there.
Think more positively for a second. Do you have a leader at work or a coach that is building trust? Reread those 9 items and apply to those folks… Better good – right?
Build your trust in relationships… Be a positive role model – you never know someone is watching and will want to do the same!