Friday, October 21, 2022

How Leaders Can Build Trust


In far too many organizations, employees indicate that they do not trust senior leaders.   Why is trust so important?  It helps leaders build buy-in and commitment, particularly when they have to make difficult decisions.  It drives engagement and helps increase employee retention.   Heightened trust increases intrinsic motivation, leading to higher productivity and organizational effectiveness.

How can leaders build trust?  Here are five strategies that prove quite effective:

  1. Be transparent.  That doesn't just mean providing more information about the performance of the organization.  It means helping others understand how you think.  What are the criteria you use to make big decisions?  What is the rationale for particular actions?  What are the values guiding your behavior?
  2. Walk the walk.  If you articulate a certain set of values and norms, then be sure that you are acting in ways consistent with those principles.  Root out any instances of misalignment between words and actions. 
  3. Lead fairer decision-making processes.  Fair process doesn't mean giving people their way. It means giving people voice and genuinely considering their views before making key decisions.  As noted leadership scholar Michael Watkins says, it means avoiding the "charade of consultation." By that, he means not asking for input AFTER you have already made up your mind.  Employees see right through the charade when you ask for advice, yet simply act in the way you always intended from the start. 
  4. Own your mistakes. If you fail, acknowledge it.  Explain what happened and why, and be clear about how you plan to fix the problem. Don't throw others under the bus.  Instead, describe what you learned from the failure. 
  5. Listen early, often, and actively.  When you speak to large groups of employees, make sure that at least half the time is reserved for questions.  Don't force people to submit questions in advance.  Be willing to show some vulnerability and address questions in the moment.  If you don't know the answer, say so.  Tell people how and when you will get them the answer.  

1 comment:

Fernanda Gomes said...

Ótimos artigos... estou adorando visitar e ler seus conteúdos!

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