Without a doubt, one of the most powerful ways for someone in a position of authority to become a true leader is through the trust of their team. Obtaining the trust of your employees can mean the difference between a smooth flow of work, and having people doubt your capabilities and intentions. Trust is not something which comes naturally with a management title – it needs to be earned through your interactions with your subordinates. There are a number of different ways to build trust, although the most potent is a combination of multiple proven methods.
Be Skilled And Knowledgeable
One of the fastest ways to build trust as a leader is to be an expert in your field. If you’re more knowledgeable on topics relevant to the job than those working underneath you, they will be encouraged to look up to you and respect your level of experience. If not, your employees will have a more difficult time trusting that you know the best way to proceed with projects or to reach the group’s goals.
Relate To Employees Working For You
Another powerful way to gain the trust of the people you work with is to be able to connect with them in more than just an authoritative way. Good leaders know how to communicate effectively with their team, and being able to relate to employees as fellow people rather than simply human capital will assist in creating strong bonds and garnering trust.
Employees will trust and respect a leader who is humble and appreciative of their contributions. Everyone has worked with a boss who manages with the approach that “no news is good news”, meaning that unless you’re being yelled at, you’re doing an alright job. By showing your appreciation for your team members and the tasks they are performing, you increase their level of satisfaction and perceived value, feelings which will encourage them to admire and trust you more.
Speak Openly And Honestly
In business, it’s often easy to tell when someone is lying or not being direct – especially if you work with them on a daily basis. If you want your staff members to trust you, then you need to extend the same courtesy to them. Be open and honest with your employees, and remain transparent in your actions. The old saying goes that “secrets don’t make friends”, and they don’t build trust either.
An effective leader is one who is consistent in their actions and decisions. If you’re constantly flip-flopping from one side to the other of an argument or are not uniform with the standards you hold your employees too, it will be difficult for your team to develop confidence and trust in your capabilities. Remaining consistent, which is notable different than predictable, promotes a trusting work relationship much more than someone who is all over the place with their actions and expectations.
Gaining the trust of the people working for you is crucial to the success of any leader. Simply building trust is not enough, however. Once you have gained the respect and professional admiration of your employees, you must strive to maintain it. Trust is much more difficult to gain than it is to lose, and failing to uphold that which is bestowed to you can have devastating effects on both your business’ performance and your future career.
Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they’re passionate. By nurturing business owners’ strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey’s leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.