Trust is at the foundation of our deepest and most impactful relationships. As a leader, it is important to win the trust of your team, your colleagues, your manager, your customers, and other key stakeholders. Trust must be earned, and it cannot be mandated. So how do you create trust with those around you?
4 Steps to Building Powerful Connections and Trust
Try these actions to build stronger relationships with your team and greater trust across your working environment:
Ask Questions and Listen!
Ask powerful questions to get things started. It doesn’t matter how long the discussion may take, how difficult it may be, or where the conversation may lead. Ask those questions and LISTEN! Remain in the moment and trust your intuition. Leaders who ask a lot of questions, and truly listen and engage with their team, are able to build trust over time. These professional relationship building skills create an environment where employees strive to be valued and want to be heard. Leaders who create that environment ask a lot of open-ended questions, and then actively listen. This will get people talking, communicating, sharing, and creating ideas. Connect with people through your questions and be willing and able to act upon what you hear.
Show Some Vulnerability
You are the leader, but that does not mean you need to be perfect, know all the answers, or drive every action. Many leaders or managers feel like they need to have all the answers, particularly if they are new to the role. They self impose an expectation to be something close to perfect, and to lead or guide the solutioning for every problem.
This is where vulnerability connects to building trust: Be open to not having all the answers. People get energized by group activities where the answer is not necessarily known. You need to draw them in and to rally them to solve the problem or question. How can we improve the XYZ process? What should our most important initiatives be for next year? How can we get better at this activity? How can we improve our relationship with this client? These are open ended questions that a leader can position to the group, showing both openness and vulnerability. Get people brainstorming. Get people problem solving. Get people creating plans and actions to accomplish the ideas they share. If you create forums to draw out the best ideas and talents of others, your team will engage at a deeper level and trust will grow. But all that starts with you being a bit vulnerable and sharing a question or problem that does not yet have an answer.
Understand Your Behavioral Style (And Those Around You)
Many individuals ascribe trust to very simple behavioral interactions that we might have during the day, such as during meetings or in casual conversations. It’s important for the leader to go through the process of understanding what his/her behavioral style is, and how that presents to others. How do your teammates experience and understand you? What is their perception of you?
Then go through the process of understanding the behavioral style of those around you. What motivates them? How do they communicate? How does their style interact with yours? With that understanding, you can more intentionally focus on how to communicate productively with them, motivate them, and play to their strengths in a variety of situations. Being able to flex your approach to meet them based on their style is another great way to rapidly build trust with those around you.
We must be who we are! If people see that you’re not being genuine, or that you’re trying to be somebody that you’re not, trust will quickly erode. It’s so important that leaders are themselves, and far more important than trying to be perfect or a type of leader that you simply are not. Building self-awareness and confidence in who we are and how to clearly convey that to others is at the core of being an authentic leader.
In our dynamically changing environment, we must adapt to circumstances and pivot to the present conditions. But our core principles, our core values, do not change. We must consistently present them to those around us. It is through this consistency, where trust is built.
So how strong is the trust that bonds your team or workgroup together? The Leader’s Evolution is here to coach you and guide you through this all-important aspect of being a leader. Contact us today for further information on how to build trust in your organization or team.