Image by SteveD. via Flickr
Every good leader understands the role of trust in relationships among co-workers but might not know what they can do to help build or even solidify that trust. Trust is essential to any relationship whether in or outside of the workplace. Trust must be gained to start laying a proper foundation of mutual respect and awareness. Leaders can help monitor the workplace environment and assess the level of trust among employees by having frank conversations with them or simply engaging their team in conversations and gauging the interactions that take place. Every leader can lend a helping hand to their team no matter what level of cooperation and trust your team may have. Here are five actions to do from Nan Russell to build trust.
1. Operate with respect. Respect is an essential trust building component. If you don't offer respect to others, why would someone give you their trust? The respect component operates as a transparent window giving others a glimpse of who you are. In the words of Malcolm S. Forbes, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who do nothing for him.” What are your actions communicating about you?
2. Eliminate the blame game. Finger pointing, assigning fault, or condemning others' mistakes diminishes trust. That ferret-out approach instills fear, not innovation; reduces engagement, not errors; and reinforces scapegoating, not accountability. But people who step up to accept their mishaps and acknowledge their mistakes build trust, enhance accountability, and enable future-focused solutions.
…More at Five Trust Building Dos | Psychology Today
Trust is greatly enhanced with active involvement among all parties and leadership should be providing the path to a respectful and trusting team. Leaders need to be aware of the relationships among their team and should monitor them to head off any problems before they occur. One way to do this is to routinely engage employees in trust building exercises that emphasize the five methods presented above. Leaders can take these five to-do items and put them in their toolbox for their next retreat or seminar as a way to build trust in their teams.
Image by Victor1558 via Flickr
Leadership must be earned through hard work which lead to results and is not simply bestowed on a person. Leaders must have taken the time to earn their title in order to foster respect and camaraderie with those they will be leading. A position of leadership that is bestowed will be looked at with skepticism by those that must follow this unknown leader. This is a situation where a leader must act quickly and decisively in order to gain the respect of those they are leading. Teams look to leaders to provide guidance and friendship so a genuine interest is essential for those looking to lead. Two esteemed individuals in the leadership realm shed some more insight on leadership as Dr. Rodger Duncan interviews Mark Sanborn.
I’d begin by asking, “Why do you want to lead? What difference do you want to make?”
Leadership has become trendy and many want to be “leaders” but don’t necessarily have compelling reasons. Leadership should be borne out of a desire to contribute rather than simply achieve. Leadership done right benefits both the leader and the greater good: followers, the organization, and/or the community. Know why you want to lead because without compelling reasons, you probably won’t be able to pay the cost of developing your leadership abilities and maintain your commitment in the face of challenges.
…More at Mark Sanborn: You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader :: Doctor Duncan
This wide-ranging discussion touches on a great many aspects of leadership but the first item mentioned is about earning the title of leader. Many leaders will work their way up the corporate ladder to achieve leadership by gaining responsibility gradually as they go. This is a great way to gain the respect of colleagues and peers. If you are results driven and show a flair for success then people will respect you and trust you to lead them in success as well. This contrasts sharply with those that get assigned a role of leadership and assume that this bestows a pass to behave poorly. Quite the opposite is true, a person who has a title bestowed on them must work doubly hard to earn the respect of their team. A leader who understands that true leadership is earned through service and a drive to succeed will go a lot farther than those that attain a position through bestowal and settle into it with complacency.