You want to be a leader who thrives. You can’t thrive if people don’t trust you. If you as a leader want the most ‘bang for your buck’ to strengthen trust in your relationships, focus on these seven things first:
Ask what you can give.
Leadership is not about you. Stop focusing on the skills you need, the gaps in your knowledge, your missing credential. Your people are over there right now, bucking at the bit, waiting to set the world on fire. Get in the trenches and help them.
Facilitate breakthrough conversations.
Tune in to misalignment and mixed signals. Untangle situations where people are working at cross-purposes. Help unearth misconceptions and untested assumptions. No one wants to waste their time and energy, and you can build trust through helping people conserve their most precious resources.
Let people know what they can count on.
No one expects you to have all the answers, and everyone knows that change is inevitable and difficult. But what they don’t accept is not knowing what’s going on, not understanding what’s expected of them, and not being certain that you’re on their side.
Provide whole person feedback.
Your poorest performer still has poignant gifts to bring, and your highest performer still has unproductive habits to address. They both deserve your gratitude and acknowledgment for their contributions. Instead of wielding feedback as a weapon, use it to genuinely support steps forward.
Draw the line against gossip.
Don’t participate in it and don’t let it slide. Help people learn to talk with, instead of about, one another when they have issues and concerns.
Speaking of mistakes…embrace yours!
I’ve learned there are key trust building behaviors leaders feel they practice far more often than they actually do. Number one among those behaviors? Admitting their own mistakes.
Trust is built behaviorally. Your best intentions aren’t enough. You’ve got to back up those intentions with how you show up