We’ve all wanted to have it, wanted to give it, and also wanted others to say it’s true about us…trust or being trustworthy. It’s the not-so-secret skill in leadership!
Is it really a skill though? When it comes to leadership I would say that yes it is a skill, or a learned ability, to trust and to be trustworthy. We don’t easily trust, which is a healthy choice. Trust is developed between people over time as we discern their trustworthiness.
So why is the skill of building trust not so secret?
We all know that trust is critical because without it we will never have quality and healthy relationships. A culture of trust attracts healthy people and healthy people are great to be around! Of course, we all know that!
That leads us to consider why we need to build trust. Well let me ask you these 3 things:
- Want to work in a healthy place? – create a culture of trust
- Want to be respected? – be trustworthy
- Want relational integrity? – choose to trust
Communicator Andy Stanley says in his podcast on Trust Vs. Suspicion, “To maintain the relational integrity necessary to operate as a team, we must choose to trust and be trustworthy.” Andy Stanley describes that “the culture of trust can move things along faster. Within an organization, team or development, trust becomes fuel for productivity. When there is a high level of trust, I am going to act/email/write/communicate as if I believe the best. Teams use trust as currency. The development of trust then becomes a significant leadership strategy. It feels 100% relational and 90% emotional.”
Author Peter Scazzero writes in Emotionally Healthy Leadership that ultimately who you are matters much more than what you do.
And how can you build trust?
- Get coaching and deal with your growth areas.
- Quality coaches for leaders can help you see the gaps that might need to be addressed before they become trust-issues.
- I’m going to plug my Hubs here since he’s a John Maxwell Coach, http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/davidlawrence, but of course he’s not the only coach. Find a good coach local or one with a great reputation in your industry.
- Maintain your promises.
- This applies to meeting start and end times! Really this one is an easy way to build some trust!
- Trust is built within boundaries and accountability of integrity, says Brene Brown.
- Own your own mistakes.
- When you don’t think you can’t, or won’t be able to, deliver on a promise, come out with it yourself ahead of time.
- Or if you “sorta” botched a deliverable or a project or a production and your boss wasn’t there, tell your boss and then ask for coaching.
- Don’t blame it on circumstances or other items, but humbly see it as how it impacted them and then work together to fix it.
- Don’t speak in innuendo’s or leave space for people to create their own story, but instead speak with clarity
- Example of an innuendo or one that could allow people to create their own story: We might hear someone say something like, “Let’s support Joe today as he works on items in accounting.” The story someone could assume might include some fear about people or projects that are being cut. A clearer way to communicate might sound like, “Let’s support Joe as he works on getting the tax info entered and finalizing any remaining end of year accounts.”
- Choose to trust.
- Yes, trusting is risky. Do it anyways.
- Come to another person’s defense if you hear others talking in innuendo’s about them. “Have you asked Joe directly about his accounting items?”, or “Hmm, I hear you but I know Joe’s character so this isn’t fitting for me. Let’s go visit with him and clear this up so we can all move forward together.”
- Confront immediately and directly with compassion by asking for the facts without judgement.
- One last quote from Andy Stanley, “Worthy of trust does not mean perfect. It means when I create a gap where your expectations don’t line up with the experience I give you, I talk to you about it.”
- Believe the best about people, never assume the worst about them…or yourself.
Trust really is a super-skill because when you create a culture of trust in your team, group, organization, etc. you empower people and vision to move further faster.
Developing the skill of trusting and being trustworthy is a powerful goal for 2017!
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
Photo from Pexels.com, Graphics from Canva.com