The Path to Leadership Trust
During the last several months as we have observed our national presidential campaign unfold. A theme has continued to resurface for me. That theme has been one of Leadership and Trust. As I watch the discussions unfold in many arenas and the accusations fly. It is clear to me the underlying common denominator of fear. That fear has created a society of distrust, and in our current selection of candidates there are some justified reason for that distrust. When we live in a cloud of fear and distrust we many times can’t see beyond that to look at hard facts. Are there times in our careers where we have found ourselves also blind by fear and distrust to the point of missing facts and realities also?
So as current leaders, new leaders, or potential leaders one of the most important aspects of the work culture we must build or preserve is the culture of trust. This is many times one of the toughest to create or maintain also. In my leadership coaching practice, this is one of the most common issues my clients and I tackle. So let’s explore what we can do as leaders to build and maintain that trust. If your team has had unfortunate experience with leaders previously and had their trust violated. Please be extra patient, as it will take even longer and extra effort to get to the first few levels. You will be tested.
The first lesson leaders must learn is that you earn no trust by obtaining the title. You actually don’t even gain respect by that title either. You may gain a bit of power, get a bigger office and be able to attend higher powered meetings and sign more forms. But when it comes to your team, the hard work starts once you have all of that.
You will earn trust by being open, demonstrating that you care about them, the work that they do, and the company. By demonstrating your competence, your integrity, your consistency, your follow through, and your honesty and transparency. Use your best communication skills and do so consistently, seek out a mentor or a coach to help you through. If they truly believe you have the skills to do what you were hired to do, have the company’s best interest and their best interest at heart and will be thoughtful in your decisions. You are off to a great start. It’s always wise to listen more than you talk in the beginning.
Trust cannot be built overnight. It requires time, effort, sincerity, compassion and a commitment. This is a common stumbling block, we lose patience. It is truly all about relationships and we all know building those takes time, but when we feel pressure to produce results, maintaining that patience can be a challenge. As your team sees that you are with them to strive for the greater good, they will come around and learn in time to be able to take even the tough news from you with greater ease. You will see them coming to the table to help solve challenges as they arise. That is when leadership is truly rewarding and the concept of team work is at it’s finest. Your progress in reaching your performance goals will hit their stride rapidly once that trust is established and strong. If you find this is one of the areas you are struggling with, that is what we are here to help with. Reach out and check in with us and we are more than happy to help you through accomplishing those relationships that are essential to your long term success.