The biggest predicator to your success is your ability to connect with others – which relies on you building trust.
Building trust begins from your first interaction with someone. What underpins the quality of this interaction are these questions each of you are asking: Do I like you? Do I want to work with you? Do I trust you?
You can’t pick and choose who you work with and you have to work with people you don’t like as much as others. Trust though, is always a personal choice. No one can make you trust them and vice versa.
There is a massive trust gap in Australian business.
Only 38% of Australian leaders are rated as trustworthy (Swinburne Leadership Institute 2014). We need to fix the gap.
I recently met with Tammy. She complained about her team’s shortcomings and her culture being siloed. She began to see that she’d never really connected with her team. Her ‘aha’ moment was realising that it wasn’t her team or the culture that needed to change: she needed to change. She needed to learn how to communicate and build trust to turn things around.
Trust is a change currency. Trust enables everything.
Subtly, good leaders are able to earn the trust of others quickly. What you say, how you say it and how you follow through on the commitments you make are the small but key indicators that people accumulate as they form their perceptions of you.
What does this mean for you as a leader? How can you build greater trust?
Be trustworthy as the starting point
If you don’t trust and back you, why should others trust and back you? Trust goes both ways.
Being trustworthy is more than keeping the promises and commitments you make. It’s about having integrity and having the courage to act in accordance with your values and beliefs. It’s about you being your authentic you.
Here’s how to build trust that others have in you:
1. Have open and transparent COMMUNICATION
Have productive conversations based on respect, keeping others informed and giving feedback straight away.
Knowledge is not power. Knowledge is empowering – when it’s relevant to shape someone’s perspective, thinking, decision making. Be considered and generous with the information you share.
2. Create a shared PURPOSE
Your team want to have a purpose which extends further than their job. Shared goals and aspirations enable everyone to be on the same page especially when the outcomes are a win-win for all.
3. Develop your EMOTIONAL EQ
Your self-awareness is driving the quality of your relationships. Remaining calm, confident and compassionate, in chaos and uncertainty, will underpin your ability to engage, influence and inspire others.
In conclusion, building trust is a learned skill – a vital one if you want to become the leader you aspire to be. We all want to experience feeling ‘connected in’ at work: feeling valued, a sense of belonging and to know that our contribution serves toward a greater good. Great cultures are based on trust. How trustworthy are you – really? What is your trust bank balance in your team and how are you going to grow it?