According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, only 39% of respondents say they trust business to do the right thing. That was done from 58% from the year before. With all of the Ponzi schemes popping up it is no wonder that fear is rampant and trust at an all time low.
I was recently coaching an executive that is having a tough time with her team. She wants to them to go through her for everything and she has become a bottleneck. Worse than that though is the fact that her team has moved to fear-fear of doing something she won’t like, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person- that they have become paralyzed.
Holding tightly to your team is like trying to hold a tight fist around sand- the tighter you hold the more sand there is that slips through your fingers. Power comes with trust. The more your team trusts you, the more power they will give you. Ironically the more you trust your team, the more power you give them. So it is a circle.
The Zen of Trust is that with it teams make big stretches, helps teams take calculated risks, and helps build collaboration.
Here are some things, you as a leader can do to build trust:
1. Be Courageous with the Truth. Great leaders don’t shrink or hide from the truth but instead face it head on. They believe in the ability to be resilient rather than the ability to be right. In our Courageous Communication we focus on helping leaders to be able to tell the truth with four easy steps so it is heard even if the news is not welcome news.
2. Be Knowledge Transparent. Great leaders are good at BOTH teaching and learning. They believe they are NEVER at the top but are always learning how to be better. They then transfer that knowledge of learning on to others rather than being hailed for being so smart. They see knowledge as growing in power as it is spread rather than contained.
3. Self Aware. Great leaders are very self aware. They know their strengths and weaknesses and are open about them. They don’t hold a weakness as a badge of honor. We train leaders on understanding how and what the brain tries to protect. It is interesting to note that almost all the highly respected leaders step back and say, “so that is why “so and so” struggles with how I give direction. I am going to have to change how I..” While leaders who are often struggling say, “that is just the way I am wired. They have to learn to deal with it.” Are you “self aware” or ” beware of self” in your thinking?
In this next week, really watch yourself as a leader. Make sure you are building trust with your team. If there is a lack of trust in some part of your team, ask, “what may I be doing that is allowing this to happen?” You will be surprised by how much impact you can have on trust.