Many things may be on your list to help you become a more effective leader; for example:
- Improve Public Speaking
- Practice Giving Effective Feedback
- Learn more about AI
- Get an MBA
- Become More Visionary
- Challenge the Process
These aren’t bad things to work on, but maybe you need to call a timeout and look at something even more fundamental.
How much do people trust you?
If you did a “Trust Audit” of your direct reports and your colleagues, how much would they say they trust you on a scale from 1 – 10; if they were being honest?
How can you improve the level of trust between yourself and others? Here are some ideas:
*Show Respect to All People at All Times. No exceptions. Not just the bosses. Everyone deserves to be treated with a high level of respect and human dignity all the time.
*Be Honest. To quote a familiar line “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Be forthright. Don’t hold back.
*Exit the Spin Zone. Are you always trying to put the best “spin” on everything? Stop it. People can smell BS. Be straight with everyone.
*Be Inclusive. Go out of your way to get to know other people in your organization – especially if they are different than you. Make sure that everyone is encouraged to share their ideas during meetings.
*Deliver Bad News Quickly and With Candor. For example, if there are going to be layoffs and it is going to be tough for everyone – just put it out there in as caring way as you can.
*When You Make a Mistake, Apologize. None of us are perfect. When you make a mistake, own up to it immediately, and do your best to make it right. Don’t play the blame game.
*Be Fair in Your Decisions. Don’t play favorites. When you have tough decisions to make, find some trusted people outside your organization who can give you feedback.
You can build trust over a period of years, but it can be shattered in moments. Be vigilant to maintain your honesty and focus in your relationships with others. A high level of trust between you and others will make you a more effective leader and, more importantly, a better person.