How to Build Trust as a Leader
Updated: Oct 12
When you occupy the role of a leader, you are responsible for leading your team through the creation of the work that drives the enterprise forward. But to complete this work, your team will need guidance, clear instructions and an overall understanding of long-term goals that they may not be well-positioned to see. This effort depends on building trust and credibility.
How can you assure your team that you have their backs and that you make decisions with their best interests in mind? How can you convince them to share and act on your vision without second-guessing your methods or motivations? Here are a few ways to build trust and credibility with your team.
Trust them first.
To get respect, give respect. The same rule applies to trust. You hired your teams because of their education, training, and experience have prepared them for their specific responsibilities and areas of influence. Don’t hover, micromanage, or insist on signing off on every move, instead give them the space they need to be successful while guiding them through the process. You’re paying for their knowledge and hard-earned lessons; don’t let it go to waste. Step back and let them use the tools they wield to accomplish what nobody else can.
Oil the gears.
Your teams don’t just depend on you; they depend on each other. So when something goes wrong, or conflict arises, step in and resolve the issue. Don’t ignore the tough issues. Misunderstandings and miscommunications are like sand in a well-oiled machine. Step in and have difficult the conversations necessary to address the problem and get it worked out as soon as possible.
Explain decisions when necessary.
As a leader, you have a better understanding of long-term organizational goals and what’s required to meet them. There will be unpopular decisions along the way, and you’re not obligated to justify every decision, but a little explanation goes a long way. It’s your responsibility to communicate with your team so that they understand why key decisions so that they can support the decisions even if they disagree with it.
Take the lead in times of crisis.
Nothing builds employee credibility like action during a crisis. When a crisis occurs, lean into it. Roll-up your sleeves and work with your team to determine the cause of the problem, brainstorm on a possible solution and develop an action plan. Take the lead and bring issues to a higher level when necessary and keep the team focused on solving the problem.
Interested in more information on government leadership training and enterprise consulting? Contact the experts at the Prinzo Group.