If you look at the various theories of leadership, you will find a number of important workplace environmental factors that are fundamental to creating a connection between the leader and the followers who are being led. Trust is one of a number of factors that serve as the connective tissue between leaders and followers and enhances the capacity for organizational and leadership success. For leaders, trust is hard to build but extraordinarily easy to lose and arguably, it is at the heart of most of the important business activities. There are many articles written about trust that go in-depth with research and case studies. Below are four tips for building trust that will help get you started quickly:
1. Be a person who is willing to trust your employees. If you cannot trust, then you cannot be trusted. Trusting employees is an active pursuit that may require some really hard decisions.
2. Get personal. Trust is given when people have a sense of who you are as a person. That means sharing things that are personal. Not everything has to be shared but talking about episodes in your life or career and how you experienced them helps people understand you. When you do that it gives you the opportunity to know more about your employees in turn. Empathy and humility are powerful leadership attributes.
3. It’s almost never what you say, it’s what you do when no one seems to be looking. Employees are always observing you. As the leader, you set the example and you have to be consistent every time. In leadership there are no small things.
4. Let people know how you make decisions and what part (if any) employees will play. All decisions you make are not equal. Some decisions need to involve your people in various ways and some don’t and should not. Know the difference and communicate it to your employees.