If you want to lead your team to a higher level of performance and achieve more success, your team must first trust you to lead them. Without trust, you won’t get far.
Does your team have doubts?
How credible are your words to your team? Does your team doubt you?
It’s very likely that one or more members of your team is predisposed to doubt your word and your intentions, regardless of your actions. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, “The credibility of leaders also is in peril: CEO credibility dropped 12 points globally to an all-time low of 37 percent, plummeting in every country studied…”
With so much of the pubic distrusting CEOs and other leaders, it’s clear that if you want to lead your team to greatness, it really is up to you to take action to win them over!
Effective leadership is a lot more than giving direction and setting goals. A large part of your success as a leader is determined by your ability to inspire others. Motivating your team is a lot easier when they know who you are as a person and trust and respect you.
The key to building trust with members of your team is to first focus on building your relationships with them.
Does your team know the real you? A major component of building rapport and trust is authenticity.
The foundation of authenticity is self-awareness. Authentic leaders know who they are. They know their strengths, and they focus on developing them to bring out the best in themselves and their people.
They manage their feelings so that they are constantly building people up and encouraging them to give their best, rather than devaluing them and encouraging negative or destructive behaviours.
Authentic leaders aren’t perfect, but they are fair, and they never ask something of their team that they wouldn’t first ask of themselves. They draw from their experiences and values to determine their behaviour, which is why their actions come across as heartfelt, deliberate and sincere, even though they may at times be imperfect.
Authentic leaders are constantly seeking feedback about how they can improve their performance and better assist and equip their team to perform their best. Authentic leaders genuinely care for their team.
If you want your team to put their confidence in you, you must be honest with them. You have to tell the truth, even when it’s painful. You not only have to tell the truth to others, you must be honest with yourself.
At its heart, being honest means being realistic about everything, from the situation as it is, to what impact you and your team are likely to make upon it.
Unless you are honest, it’s impossible for anyone to trust anything that you say or do. To increase the chances that you are viewed as honest, and therefore trustworthy, it isn’t enough to simply tell the truth.
You must be open, and, be as transparent as possible in your decision-making processes and actions. This makes it possible for others to understand your reasoning and to verify that you have, indeed, been truthful, objective and just in your statements.
You must also be courageous and have the integrity to look after your team’s best interests. Have the conviction to speak up and speak out and advocate for your team and their needs.
You must have the conviction to only make promises that you intend to keep and to then fulfil your promises by keeping your word. Never say anything that you don’t truly mean. Follow up and follow through, always.
As a leader, being accountable means that you accept responsibility for the results. You don’t look for ways to excuse performance, especially your own. You take ownership. Rather than blame others or circumstances you do whatever it takes to change outcomes and make things right. Accountable leaders identify and acknowledge the problem and then they do whatever it takes to fix it!
When leaders are accountable, their teams can trust that if a mistake is made, their leader will acknowledge it and take whatever actions are necessary to fix the problem.
Performance always suffers because of distrust
Does your team trust you? It will be rather obvious if they don’t.
Teams that don’t trust their leaders quite literally shut down. Morale is poor. Communication grinds to a halt. Conflicts are more prone to occur. There is little motivation to perform well and nearly everyone spends their work day just trying to get by with as little effort and involvement as possible. Teams know when their leaders don’t care about them and don’t have their back!
If your team distrusts you it is solely up to you to win them back, for you are the only one with the power to do so.