Only 40% of leaders and human resources experts say their company had high-quality leaders — a 17% drop from last year — with less than half saying they have confidence in their immediate supervisor, according to DDI’s recently released 2023 Global Leadership Forecast. (Forbes)
Being a leader with the right title does not make you trustworthy. On the contrary, trust is earned over and over, day after day.
Yet, today, we continue to see too many leaders in the media focused on themselves. They are unable to treat customers and employees as VIPs and dismiss important issues as not their problem.
“Team members that work for trusted leaders are far more innovative and achieve top-notch results.” Jeannette Seibly
How to Build Trust and Be an Effective Leader
Know Your Blind Spots. A blind spot is an area of weakness or limitation in an individual’s perspective or behavior that they are not aware of. When you are unaware of your blind spots, you’ll continue making the same mistakes and poor decisions. Teams and team members will stop trusting you, especially if you rely on using the same old excuses. Stop the vicious circle! Hire an executive coach and use a qualified job fit assessment to get real about why you do what you do! Make the necessary changes now.
Trust Your Team. First, you must trust your team members. It doesn’t mean you overlook half-truths, missed deadlines, or poor quality. It means if someone says they cannot get a task done by a specific time, listen and ask, “What do you need from me?” Teams that trust and feel supported by their leader are more likely to go beyond the norm to get the intended results.
Learn from Mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, including you! Yelling or expressing frustration at team members is not the way to build trust! Instead, together, conduct an objective review of “what worked/what didn’t work?” Acknowledge things they did well. Specifically, focus on two things to improve. Then, take what you learned, develop a game plan, and manage for results.
Allow Them to Resolve Issues through Your Listening. Poor listening skills interfere with effective communication and relationships. They lead to misunderstandings and conflict, which diminishes trust. When you develop an ear to listen, your natural curiosity and good questions guide you on what to say. Allow your team member or team to get to the source of the problem through your listening! It builds trust that they can count on you because you are there for them.
Embrace Tough Conversations. If you’d rather avoid them, hoping and praying the issue (aka team member or customer) will disappear, your team stops trusting you! Your job is to make the workplace a safe and comfortable place to excel.
Be Known for Straight Talk. Say what you mean and mean what you say. (Yes, I’m repeating this … that’s how important it is.) This makes THE difference between your team trusting you to look out for them or feeling manipulated by you to get the job done. When making a promise, follow up and follow through. When a project has not met the customer’s needs, tell the truth about why. Stop the practice of making yourself look good at the expense of others. It’s the fastest way to lose trust!
Brag about Your Team! Sharing the successes of each and every team member makes a positive difference. This requires being aware of each team member’s contribution … no matter how small. By paying attention, you will build trust and strengthen their willingness to work with you!
©Jeannette Seibly 2020-2023 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has over 30 years of award-winning international experience as an executive consultant, speaker, and business author. Her clients surpass the norm by working through sticky situations and challenging relationships to become positive influencers. Contact Jeannette for a confidential discussion.
A note from Jeannette about building trust as a leader: Being a leader today is more challenging than ever! The biggest detractor is your team’s ability to trust you! Too many leaders focus on themselves. They are unable to treat customers and employees as VIPs and dismiss issues as not their problem. Contact me to discuss trust issues you have with your team and what they have with you!
This week’s PODCAST: Listen to “Best Practices When Working Remotely” with my guest, Ronald Beach, Ph.D., on The Entrepreneurial Leader.
NOTE: Do you want to win? All leaders who are winners have coaches! I love coaching leaders and have for over 30 years! Contact me if you want an in-depth, one-on-one hour over 13 weeks. Having a coach speeds up your ability to influence others, hire the right people, and coach your team for unprecedented results.