Continuing with this month’s blog theme of “Relating” as a leadership competence, I was just reading Leadership – It’s about the people, a blog post from Mike Myatt. 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 their list.

How to Build Trust

So, how do we 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 other people’s 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?

What do you do, to demonstrate your trust in others?

Thank you for reading and please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Julie Kay

Julie Kay is the founder of JK Leadership Development Ltd. She is a Professional Certified Coach (ICF) and an Ashridge Accredited Executive Coach (Ashridge/Hult International Business School). She works with fast-growing medium-sized businesses often in STEM-related industries. She particularly enjoys supporting technical and operational experts to increase their self-awareness, achieve results, and build strong trusting relationships with those around them.