Authentic Leaders Engender Trust

Being self-aware is not enough to be seen as authentic and to engender trust. I’ve learned this the hard way over the years. Through using the Strengths Strategy model and becoming self-aware through my Strengths lens, I’ve been inundated with insights on dimensions of my Strengths that I now recognize I need to monitor and manage. For example, I have discovered that when I over use my Strength of Activator I tend to move too fast and I’m not in tune with if I am bringing others along. When I over use my Strength of Command I tend to be seen as bossy, intimidating, or impatient because it makes sense with my Activator to get and keep things moving. Added to the mix is my Strength of Self-Assurance, when in over use I tend to have a lot of confidence that my assessment of what needs to happen now is correct.

What I know to be true is that when I do not self-monitor for what is needed now I am not attuned to the needs of others or what they can contribute, I am not engaged in enrolling colleagues or team mates, and I am not sensitive to my impact on others. To be a respected leader, it is essential that I monitor and manage the overuse of some of my Strengths and lift up others that invite engagement and interdependence.

What Strengths do you need to monitor and manage to be the leader you want to be?

This is part 3 in the 5-part series on Becoming an Authentic Leader by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.

Authentic, Authentic Leader, Self-Aware, Trust, Respect, Humility, Awareness, Connection, Value, Seek Feedback, Listen, Strengths, Strengths Based Leadership, StrengthsFinder, Leadership Coach

When you genuinely connect with your people, it has an impact. Click To Tweet

I’ve been exploring what it takes for leaders to develop into more authentic leaders. Being respected begins with showing respect to others, both upline and downline in your organization. Model respect for everyone and it will be contagious.

The phrase, “leading by example” is more than a suggestion. Leaders like you, who model the behavior you want your organization or division to exhibit, make the most effective strides in establishing a culture of trust and engagement. Employees respect you when you “walk the talk” and regard you as authentic. Who doesn’t want to follow someone who displays trustworthy values in decisions and behaviors?

Humility, expressed as a being present to listen to and learn from others, is one of the most effective ways to earn respect asserts leadership coach Brent Gleeson in his article, 7 Simple Ways to Lead by Example. Humility is a particularly refreshing attribute these days and it can prove to be a valuable tool.

As an authentic leader, you recognize you don’t have all the answers, and probably never will. Seeking, appreciating and applying the ideas of others validates their contributions, which engenders trust and respect in return.

Genuine Connection
When you say what you mean and mean what you say, you engender trust and are seen as authentic. A genuine, relational approach to people shows them they’re valued, Booth notes. When you genuinely value them, they’ll reciprocate, thereby satisfying their need to contribute and feel valued, while fueling engagement and productivity. Your vision as a leader is compelling under these conditions.

When you genuinely connect with your people, it has an impact. Your actions draw people to you, and connections grow. Relationships ascend to the next level when you seek feedback from your people, especially regarding how they’re being lead and managed. Your willingness to listen demonstrates an authentic sense of vulnerability that reveals courage, candor and caring.

Are you paying attention to ways to build authenticity? I’d love to hear what has worked for you. You can reach me here, on LinkedIn, or give me a call.


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