Home » Trust in Leadership

Trust in Leadership

A significant indicator of good leadership is having the trust of the people on your team. Trust is an essential element in successful leadership, from a small group to an entire enterprise. For example, you might have solid communication skills, be innovative and daring, or have an impactful team. But without their trust, you’ll never get the results you aim to achieve.

Trust Defined

Trust is a firm belief or confidence and respect in the credibility, truth, or strength of someone or something. And it’s the foundation of any organization.  You’ll often hear that you gain someone’s trust and earn their respect.  It’s a subtle difference, but in both instances, it’s a process.

Benefits of Trust

Leaders who inspire trust prove themselves to get better output, increased morale, and higher employee retention. They show more significant innovation, more employee loyalty, and lower turnover rates.

Most importantly, trust affects a leader’s impact on the bottom line more than any other single factor.

What Happens When There’s a Lack of Trust?

Without trust in an organization, you won’t get anywhere. Instead, there’ll be more micromanaging, resulting in stifled creativity, hindered innovation, decreased collaboration and communication, less productivity, and little engagement. 

A Common Misconception about Trust

One of the most significant mistakes a leader can make is to assume others trust them by virtue of their job title.The truth is, you are only entrusted to the degree that people believe in your ability, consistency, integrity, and commitment to deliver.

So how do you achieve this kind of trust within your organization? It starts with the following eight critical traits.

What are 8 Critical Traits for Building Trust as a Leader?

1. Clarity

People often trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous. When you establish clarity about what you expect from your team, you’ll experience less conflict. Boundaries provide your employees with guidelines and rules to feel comfortable and confident in their tasks. They can essentially rise to the occasion when they know what you expect from them. 

2. Compassion 

Your team will more than likely put faith in you if you care beyond yourself.  When your team feels positive and safe, they’ll experience more workplace satisfaction. When you exhibit compassion and empathy, you allow yourself to understand and connect with your employees. And you’ll develop strong relationships, as they’ll grow to trust you more.

3. Character

Character is a person’s integrity and motive demonstrated with others. People recognize within a leader if they do what is right over what is easy. As you walk in more respect and responsibility, your team will realize it and believe that you’ll do what you say you’ll do. 

4. Contribution

Few things establish trust quicker than results.  A leader who contributes significantly to their organization or team is decisive, focused, confident, and organized. They play an essential role in helping others, and the organization moves forward.

5. Competency

Competency includes one’s skills, talents, and knowledge, along with their capabilities to do things effectively or successfully. People trust those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable. Consistently completing tasks right with a proven track record over time will help to build your team’s faith in you. 

6. Connection

Business is a human endeavor: getting people right. People want to accompany, purchase from and be around friends, and having friends is all about building connections. When leaders connect with their team, they develop relationships, resonate, and understand each other. Leadership is, therefore, built on those strong relationships.

7. Commitment

People believe in others who stand through adversity. When leaders are committed to their organization, they prepare to see tasks and goals to the end. They’re determined, work hard, and are open to trying anything. It’s the dedication to the vision and the organization and doing your best at all times. 

8. Consistency

In every area of life, it’s consistently doing the little things that make a big difference. And trust requires predictability. Trust is limited when leaders are unpredictable or unreliable. But, when you keep your word and act on it, you’ll earn that belief from your team over time.  

Building trust can be challenging. But through clarity, compassion, character, contribution, competency, connection, commitment, and consistency, you can develop the confidence required to take your business to the next level. Here at Belfield, our team has over 170 years of cumulative experience. As a result, we can help equip your leadership team with the tools needed to achieve your vision. Experience the Belfield difference!