Being a great leader begins with building trust

trustTrust impacts every organization 24/7, 365 days a year. It affects the quality of relationships, communication, work projects, business ventures and every situation in your personal and professional life. Without trust people will not follow you or perform at their peak. Trust changes the quality of every moment. Where there is trust there will be success. Unfortunately in recent years trust in leadership has been on the decline. Research shows that 49% of employees trust senior management and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source for information. So, how can leaders build trust within their organization? At its core, trust is essentially confidence with two components, character and competence. Character is all about integrity, motive and intent towards people. Competence is about capabilities, skills, results and track record. Start off by making building trust one of your top priorities just like any other goal you set out to achieve. Communicate to your organization that trust matters and that it’s highly valued. Next, clarify what you expect from your employees and what you intend to offer them and actually stick with it. If you make commitments and promises keep them, otherwise trust will rapidly decline. Also make sure to live by your own rules, practice what you preach. Your employees won’t trust you if you don’t live by the values and expectations of the organization. Extending trust to others in your organization is also extremely important. People will be reluctant to trust you if they feel that you don’t trust them. Show trust by resisting the urge to micro-manage, step back and let people do their jobs. Depending on your role and responsibilities you may have more or less influence over others. However, you should always have “self-trust.” This is the confidence you have in yourself and in your ability to achieve your goals, keep your commitments, to walk your talk and your ability to inspire trust in others. Next work on establishing “relationship trust” – the trust we have with people. There are certain key behaviors that result in trust, if you embody these behaviors trust will grow. According to Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, the behaviors of trust are to demonstrate respect, right your wrongs, show loyalty, deliver results, improve, listen, confront reality, practice accountability, clarify expectations, keep your commitments and finally, extend trust to others. And remember, the best leaders lead with a decided predisposition to trust, as opposed to an inclination not to trust. Craig Weatherup, former CEO of PepsiCo, said “Trust cannot become a performance multiplier unless the leader is prepared to go first.” Source: Leadership Now]]>

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