Five ways leaders build trust

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The topic of trust is a very big one indeed and one which, until fairly recently, was not discussed much in organisations.  How things change!

For organisations looking to build trust, a good place to start is the Edelman Trust Barometer which identifies the 16 key attributes to building trust.

But at the micro level, how can WE all take responsibility for building trust?

Trust starts with us!

When we demonstrate trustworthy behaviour it creates a ripple effect throughout the team and the wider organisation.

So here are five ways to build trust in your team and your organisation starting today.

1. Show more trust in others.  This is ABSOLUTELY the first place to start – and sometimes the most challenging.  Believing the best of people rather than the worst is counter-intuitive to some – of course if you have people in your organisation that you will never, ever trust (and with good reason) then why are you tolerating them?

2. Encourage people to speak their truth and bring up the difficult issues.  Even if it’s hard to hear.  This is not about letting people, whinge, moan and take no responsibility, however.  My post a couple of weeks ago on Feedback Made Simple will help you to make a start. The best leaders I know demonstrate that it’s okay to want feedback, okay to want to improve and it’s okay not to be perfect and not know everything.

3. Walk the talk – there’s nothing worse than lip service and platitudes; mission statements and values that are nothing more than words that are not lived;

4. Keep your promises – and if you can’t, be honest about why you can’t – what’s changed?

5. Provide opportunities for everyone to succeed – when teams or individuals compete against each other you create a ‘looking after number one’ culture which serves nobody well.

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