Trust is one of the most important, if not the most important, factors in building any effective relationship among other people. Without trust, a relationship is stagnant and unstable. It will not lead into anything successful.
Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus define trust as “the glue that binds followers and leaders together.” Therefore, without trust, there is nobody to lead and there is nobody to follow. A leader would not give his people big responsibilities if he does not trust them. He would not expect good results from them either. On the other hand, his people would hesitate to follow their leader’s commands if they do not trust him or any of his decisions.
In simple words, trust should exist between both the leader and his people in order to come up with a sound relationship, which in turn would help them reach their goals. There is nothing to lose when you trust. In fact, you even benefit more from the people you give your trust to, as they exert more effort to match the expectations you assume from them.
On the other side of the story, besides learning to trust your people, you should also be able to build their trust on you. People will not listen to you when they do not trust you. They must believe in you first before they follow your leadership. It is, therefore, the leader’s responsibility to develop that trust in him actively from the people around him.
Trust implies accountability (being responsible to other people or things), certainty (being confident and assured), and reliability (being able to depend on due to accuracy). It must be developed every time, but you must be very cautious in handling it. Ever heard the cliché It takes a long period of time to build trust and only seconds to break it?
Beware of actions that can betray trust such as
– breaking promises (over and over again)
– telling bad things behind one’s back
– creating untrue stories and gossiping
Remember that trust is the bond that makes the relationship between you (as a leader) and your people last. Build it strongly.
How to Bring Out the Trustworthy Person in You
1. Be yourself. When you let other people see the real “you,” they will not have problems accepting you. Keep yourself away from pretensions. How you see yourself is how people will look at you. Therefore, if you think you are a loser, you should not be surprised when no one respects you. Instead, look at yourself the way you want other people to see you…a leader…a true winner!
2. Pursue lifelong learning. Leaders have a desire to continually learn and grow both personally and socially. They are open to new ideas and continuously seek knowledge that can help them become better. Learn how to expand your knowledge. Maintain a broad focus on things around you. Read a lot, talk to many, share interests with friends. There are many ways on how you can maintain lifelong learning.
3. Admit your faults. Admit it. Nobody is perfect. Everybody commits mistakes, even you, their leader. Do not dwell on them too much. Get over them soon. Do not make excuses. Do not blame others either. People will forgive you for occasional mistakes especially if they can see that you are still learning and growing as a leader. In fact, knowing what your mistakes are and admitting them whole-heartedly is a way of showing courage and another reason for them to trust you.
4. Listen. Good leaders do not just do all the talking. They also listen. Listen to what your people say…and what they don’t say. Be sensitive. Anticipate the feelings and needs of your people.
How to Develop Your Trust in Yourself and in Others
1. Forgive and forget. Mistakes and failures are the root causes of negative thinking. If we somehow learn to let go of all the pain, agony, and fear we try to keep inside our hearts and minds, then there will be nothing more to block our clear thoughts from expressing themselves. Forgive yourself and others for committing mistakes and forget these mistakes.
2. Make it a habit to ask questions. Again, asking does not mean we lack wisdom. Rather, it refers to gathering more information and knowledge from people who are more experienced than we are. Isn’t it a blessing to have other people share their insights to us?
3. Be open. We have to accept the fact that we do not know everything. We are continuously learning in every place we go, with every people we meet as everyday passes. We should not close our minds to new ideas and information that comes our way. Our mind is so spacious that it is impossible to fill up completely. Thus, we should accept worthy things that may help us become better and brighter persons.
4. Mingle with people on your team. Have lunch or an after-work drink with them, especially when a staff member has a birthday or there are other reasons to celebrate. You will get to know them better when you get to socialize with them outside of the office. When you know a little more on their personality, you will be able to know what to expect from them.