Building trust is a process that leaders can look at as a foundational activity. Trust is a complicated issue that goes all the way back to childhood, infancy even. An ability to cherish relationships and put trust in others is a powerful indicator that you value a relationship. Leaders should be subscribing to the innocent until proven guilty model rather than vice versa. You should put your trust in your team and let them prove that they deserve it rather than guard it and make it something to be earned. This will go a long way in gaining your team's respect. Kevin Eikenberry details this tactful trust model in the article below.
Everyone I’ve ever discussed the concept of trust with has a wide range of emotions related to it. While everyone wants more trust in their relationships, and believes that in an environment of higher trust they will be more productive, less stressed and generally enjoy their life and work more, we are often stymied, wondering how to reach these greater levels of trust.
Arriving at this conclusion comes from one basic mental model that assumes trust grows based on the other person’s behavior. This mindset is proven by comments like:
- “They have to earn my respect.”
- “I have to see that they are honest and dependable.”
When we see trust in this way, it seems to be outside of our control—we must wait for others to prove their trustworthiness in order for trust to build.
Leading with trust is something that takes time and courage. It is an effort to let yourself release a reactive trust model and envelop a proactive trust model. This effort will pay many dividends down the road in improved relationships that will flourish and can lead down many new paths. Leadership needs to understand this fundamental concept and embrace it to build a successful team. Leaders need to be building trust in the workplace as the foundation of their efforts.