I recently had a long and difficult conversation with a client who is working toward creating a Culture of Trust in their organization. Committed and excited to make this happen in 2018, they are used to creating a plan for what they want and executing it with success. With their dominant strength lying in the Executing domain they are doers and they get things done.
However, six weeks into the year and they’re already starting to feel discouraged because their intention, efforts, and well-executed plan have not produced the instant Culture of Trust they expected. When we discussed the time that creating a Culture of Trust takes I could hear their impatience and exasperation.
Creating trust is a relational matter, not something to check off your list. It takes time to build relationships that contribute to a Culture of Trust. Not something to be rushed, these relationships need to grow over time. You need to authentically show up and walk the talk as a leader over and over and over again.
This is part 3 in the 3-part series on your Trust Quotient by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Make your top priority your people and being in relationship with them: you’ll build higher levels of trust. Click To Tweet
Trustworthiness is strongly portrayed when a leader behaves, speaks, and responds with integrity. I see this all the time in my work as a coach. Leaders, who are authentic, act honestly and are genuinely trusted to do the right thing. If you live out truth and transparency and hold yourself accountable to everyone, your people will offer you their trust.
Integrity also means giving of yourself in service of your people. Trustworthy leaders place a high priority on the welfare of those they lead. People know they are in good hands, with a principled purpose underlying their efforts. Often, this requires courage and is another trait that is necessary to be trustworthy.
The fourth basic element…
Having A Heart of Humility
If you want to raise your trust quotient, the fourth element to embrace is your humility. Leaders who treat their people with greater importance than self-earn greater trust. You give credit to your people for their contributions to overall successes, rather than claim it as your own. You bear the heat for the disappointments, rather than blame your people. As a humble leader, you also acknowledge your people for their accomplishments and allow them their chance in the spotlight.
When you solicit feedback, input, and ideas from your people, and allow them to partner with you rather than be micromanaged by you, you earn their trust. Your people will then contribute their gifts and talents freely using their skills in service of the greater good and goals. This practice builds teamwork and unity; two themes people yearn for, yet statistically, rarely experience.
Leaders who admit they need and learn from others show their openness to value and trust their people. This generates trust in return. Rich Eich points out in the American Management Association article, 5 Ways A Leader can Build A Culture Of Trust, that a leader who admits their mistakes displays humility. Your people are further encouraged to trust you if you also show how you’re learning from your mistakes. Your genuineness is displayed, and people sense a greater connection with you.
The primary leadership mindset needed to establish and build cultures of trust is an authentic focus on people through four basic elements:
- A helping hand
- A spirit of appreciation
- A life of integrity
- A heart of humility.
It’s been my observation that the level of trust you earn from your people is a measure of the connection they feel they have with you. Make your top priority your people and being in a relationship with them: you’ll build higher levels of trust in your organization and find more ways for everyone to succeed, over and over. Best of all, having and implementing the four basic elements costs you very little as a leader, yet gains you a lot of trust. It’s the best ROI you’ll ever get!