As an executive coach, I’ve witnessed the profound impact that trust can have on an organization’s success. In this blog, we’ll explore the critical role trust plays in leadership and how it can be cultivated to enhance your effectiveness as a leader.
The Importance of Trust
Trust is the bedrock upon which strong leadership is built. When your team trusts you as their leader, they’re more likely to follow your lead, give their best effort, collaborate better with their colleagues, and remain loyal in the face of challenges. Research shows that when workers trust their leaders, half are engaged in the organization, but when workers do not trust leadership, only just over 8% are engaged. Positive outcomes for individuals and organizations are frequently associated with high engagement, which is primarily described as feeling deeply connected to employees’ work and colleagues, feeling like a genuine contributor, and having plenty of opportunities to grow.
When employees lose trust in leadership, the decisions they make are more likely to be informed by suspicion and their actions are fueled more by self-interest than what is best for the company. They also often suffer from chronic stress and are unhappy with their lives. Because of these issues, employees are more inclined to leave an organization, which leads to increased expenses for the business due to new hires requiring training.
It’s not enough for leaders to simply state that their team members should trust them; leading with authenticity and being trustworthy is what will appeal to quality workers. Knowing that what they are told by leadership is what they can actually presume to occur is no small expectation. Creating a company culture that supports what the business states is their mission starts at the top; leaders must lead and to do so successfully, they need to “walk the talk,” as the saying goes.
Inspiring Trust as a Leader
To build trust as a leader, consider these essential principles:
Trust is fostered through consistent behavior. When your team knows what to expect from you, they feel secure. Be reliable in your actions and decisions.
Leaders who share information openly and honestly create an environment where trust can flourish. Trust your team enough to engage in frank communication.
When you admit your mistakes and hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions, it not only demonstrates your integrity but also sets an example for your team. This vulnerability fosters trust, as your team sees you as human, just like them.
Understand team members’ concerns and challenges. When people feel that you genuinely care about their well-being, they’re more likely to trust you.
If you make commitments, follow through on them. When your team knows they can count on you, they’ll be more inclined to trust your leadership.
Successful Leaders are Trustworthy
Trust is not just a trait you possess or a box to tick; it’s an ongoing process – a continuous effort that takes time to cultivate. Nurture it, invest in it, and watch it flourish within your organization. Trust is the secret sauce that can elevate your leadership to new heights, fostering a positive, productive, successful, and engaged team.
If you are looking to increase your trustworthiness as a leader, let’s talk about how to accomplish your goals.