How to Build Trust…

I was just reading Leadership – It’s about the people the latest blog post from Mike Myatt where he emphasises that having power, a title, and authority does not create a great leader. He says:

“…it’s the ability to both earn and keep the loyalty and trust of those whom they lead that sets them apart. Leadership is about trust, stewardship, care, concern, service, humility and understanding. If you build into those you lead, if you make them better, if you add value to their lives then you will have earned their trust and loyalty. This is the type of bond that will span positional and philosophical gaps, survive mistakes, challenges, downturns and other obstacles that will inevitably occur.”

Like many in the leadership field, Mike really understands and asserts the importance and value of building trust in those around you. Much research demonstrates the same and as I walk around client organisations and see their values statements on glossy posters around the wall, trust often comes at the top of the list.

So, how to do we actually build and demonstrate trust, both in ourselves and others? Unless you identify the specific behaviours that demonstrate the values that are important in your organisation, they could become meaningless sound bites.

Trust starts with trusting yourself:

  • Do you listen to yourself?
  • Do you spend quiet time alone?
  • Do you allow yourself to fully experience your emotions?
  • Do you acknowledge your doubts and uncertainties to yourself?
  • Do you admit mistakes and vulnerabilities to yourself?
  • Do you accept that you have needs and know what they are?

Others will trust you when you demonstrate your trust in them:

  • Do you admit mistakes and say “Sorry”?
  • Do you go first in risking showing vulnerability?
  • Do you get to know people by asking about their views, passions, ideas and challenges?
  • Do you tell people what you stand for and what you value?
  • Do you listen openly to others views and ideas?
  • Do you delegate in a way that increases their autonomy?
  • Do you let people make decisions without checking with you first?
  • Do you keep people informed?
  • Do you ask them what they need and how you can support them?
  • Do you connect people with the resources they need?

2 Responses to How to Build Trust…

  • Hi Gloria

    Thanks for your response. You lay out very clearly the business case for developing our interpersonal skills. Your description of the huge impact on individuals and the organisation as a whole, (and which could have been resolved if that person had possessed the skills and willingness to trust him/herself and others) is disturbing and unfortunately not unusual.

    Thanks again

  • I would agree with the points made in this article. The difficulty comes when the person in the position of authority pay attention to the first six points and none of the last 10.
    I had the unfortunate experience of working for an organization in which the manager refused to hear from others in the organization. The results were less than positive on many levels. Staff felt devalued, became fearful of making decisions in case of repercussion, we lost good people, services was affected and the overall view of the organization lost credibility in the community. There was financial cost to the organization in, time off for stressed employees, having to recruit and train new employees and endless team building and other efforts to address the moral issues.
    The shame of it all is that being a non-profit organization the resources could have been better utilized.

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