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15 ways to instill trust in your leadership

Posted by Deepshikha Shukla

January 22, 2021

Trust is at the core of all great workplaces. Employees who trust their leaders tend to perform better and help their employers be more successful.

Leaders can build trust and inspire their teams to reach peak potential by aligning their actions with words. Check out some of the best strategies that leaders can adopt to gain the trust of their teams.

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Be honest

Although this step may seem obvious, it’s all too common for employers to withhold important information from their teams, leading to distrust. If you are unable to keep your promise due to some reason, be honest and tell the team members what happened.

Follow a regular and honest approach about employee performance reviews, raises, bonuses and promotions. A well-defined professional growth strategy will allow employees to understand that their leader is honest with them.

Show support



Showing support and understanding to team members when they make mistakes goes a long way in building trust as a leader. When someone makes a mistake, leaders should help them learn from it and view it as an opportunity for growth.

This way, you can encourage your team to count on you when needed and make them feel comfortable sharing problems with you.

Be consistent



Consistently doing what you say you’ll do builds employees' trust over time. People trust leaders who keep their actions trustworthy and any promises they make.

To motivate your team to perform their best work, align your actions with company values. 

Demonstrate expertise



If people believe their leader has the knowledge and experience to make the right decisions, they are more likely to trust them. Leaders should guide and empower their teams to leverage their strengths, enabling them to do what they can do best.

Be empathetic



When a leader shows confidence in their team, people trust them in return. You should help your staff balance their work and family needs, thus increasing their engagement and productivity.

Foster collaboration



Create open lines of communication to know employees’ daily challenges and shifting needs. You must provide your team members with the opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns.

Build an appreciative culture



Appreciate and reward your team members when they work hard to set the stage for an appreciative culture. When your team performs well, present results to stakeholders, acknowledge their accomplishments, and give them credit.

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Set the right example



A leader’s behavior demonstrates the culture of an organization, which influences employees’ actions and can drive their results. Lead by example — act with integrity, treat team members with respect, keep your word, and prioritize team interests without revealing bias, perception or personal favoritism. 

Practice transparency



Communicating the intent behind your actions and words can encourage your team members to be honest and bring difficult topics to the table. Keep staff members informed about important decisions concerning the company’s future or make the information easily accessible to your team. Clearly communicate to your team what you expect from them and what they can expect in return. 

Listen actively, be approachable



When a leader answers questions and listens to ideas, opinions and feedback from their team, people trust that their voices will be heard. Listen to employees’ on-the-job problems — ask how they're doing, what they need, and what they'd like to improve at work. 

Own mistakes



Being vulnerable and admitting your mistakes as a leader shows your accountability. When employees know that you take responsibility, they see you as a credible leader who they are excited to follow. Leaders should also be open to receiving feedback from their team members. 

Know your team



Leaders should have a good understanding of their team members' interests and their areas of expertise. This way, you can better support their professional development and company growth. If your team didn't deliver on time and there is a justified reason, provide them with a buffer to complete their task.

Give constructive feedback



Leaders should share honest and constructive feedback with the team and explain how they should approach an assignment. How you respond to your team’s work problems and concerns will help determine their level of trust in you. 

Avoid micromanaging



Avoid micromanaging your team and check in only at the planned touchpoints. Establish clear objectives, assign tasks, and track your staff’s progress toward specific goals through software. This way, you can keep everyone organized through planning and sharing a timeline with an integrated collaboration tool.

Offer independence and reliability



Give employees independence to do their work and help them grow professionally. Ensure the staff members that you believe they are capable of living up to your high standards. This will allow you to encourage them to put their best efforts forward, and they’ll know that you trust them to get the job done.

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