Have you ever worked for a leader you didn’t trust?
Maybe they used their position to further their own goals to the detriment of the team or failed to communicate essential information so you felt kept in the dark and out of the loop.
This can feel very isolating and frustrating, and it can result in the development of very unhealthy team culture.
Trust is the cornerstone of healthy working relationships, and one of the most important attributes a leader can possess is being trustworthy.
But what builds trust? An important part of trust is credibility. As a leader, do you set an example for your team? Do you inspire confidence that you’ll get the job done and get it done the right way?
It can be helpful to ask yourself these questions and to know exactly how to build trust and credibility with your team, so they view you as someone they really want to work with and do well for.
Building trust and credibility with your team
Listen to them
Team members should feel like they can open up to you, express their concerns, and share ideas without the fear of being disregarded or made to feel foolish. Listening shows that you value your employees and listening more makes it more likely that people will listen to you.
You have a lot of skills and experience, and one great way of building trust and credibility with your team is sharing your knowledge, values, and vision so your team members learn from you, and are inspired by you. People perform better and work harder when they have a leader who inspires them, helps them overcome challenges, and helps them to develop.
To inspire trust and credibility, you must be willing to be held accountable for the decisions you make and how you perform as a leader. This includes admitting when you are wrong, which takes a lot of self-awareness and builds trust.
Be open and honest
Being open and honest builds trust. Don’t hide things from your team, even if you have to give them bad news, as this creates uncertainty. When people don’t have all of the information, they’ll fill in the gaps themselves. Be honest, even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable, and your team will trust you.
Don’t avoid difficult conversations or decisions
Nobody likes making tough decisions or having conversations they’d rather avoid, but avoidance doesn’t do anyone any favours in the long run. People look to you as someone they can trust to make decisions and have these conversations for the good of the business and everyone in it.
Learn from failure
Failure teaches you important things, and sometimes, we have to fail so that we realise that something is not working. Then we get to use our creativity to find another way. Make sure your team understands that failure is not fatal and that your experience has taught you that it can be a valuable lesson. This will help them see that if they fail, they can expect and trust you to support them to get things back on track.
Get stuck in
Any credible leader knows that it’s not all about them, and that collaboration is the key to getting things done. Work with your team, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and realise when it’s better to let someone else run with a task and take the credit. When you make employees feel valued, empowered, and involved, they are much more likely to trust and respect you as a leader.
Realise that trust and respect is not earned by imposing your will
Leaders who impose their will on others and rule with an iron fist will rarely earn people’s trust. You won’t get the best out of your team that way, but you will get the best out of them if you respect them, value them, and involve them. Be the leader that people want to work hard for.
Set an example
Don’t be the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ type of leader. Make your values known and live by them. There shouldn’t be one rule for you and one for your team. You’re in this together; show them this and you’ll be seen as a trustworthy and credible leader.
Being able to persuade your people in a healthy way is always good to know about and this blog covers the subject.
Does your team see you as a credible and trustworthy leader? Is there any burning team or people issues you desperately need to sort out?
I can help.
I’ve been where you are, I can save you precious time and be objective, and above all, I can help you introduce lasting and positive change to how things are, without judging what has gone before.
My consulting packages are designed to get businesses back on track, develop and empower managers and teams, and make those niggling people and business issues a thing of the past.
Do you have a problem you feel you just can’t solve on your own? Get in touch today for a chat to find out how I can help.
Or visit my Success with Employees membership information – an online membership for small employers to stop the overwhelm and create a high performing team