To be a leader build trust, sustain it

People in managerial roles often struggle between being a good manager and being a good leader. If you focus on being a good manager, you can enjoy only limited short-term success. But if you strive to develop leadership qualities, you can be sure of long standing success. So, managers must strike the right balance between managerial skills and leadership traits to pursue a successful career. And the most important leadership trait that can make or mar your success at the workplace is trustworthiness.

Trust is fundamental for leadership. Leadership necessitates influencing others to put them on the right track. People are willing to be led only by the person whom they trust. So, a leader must demonstrate all the aspects of trustworthiness to assume the responsibility of guiding others. For this, he first needs to have a proper understanding of trust and its dynamics.

Trust is composed of credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation. Credibility is how believable a leader is. Reliability is how dependable he is. Intimacy rates how safe people feel while sharing information with the leader. Self-orientation is how much the leader focuses on himself compared to his focus on others. Based on these four traits, Green devised a self-assessment test that helps you calculate your trustworthiness or ‘Trust Quotient.’

At the workplace, employees evaluate your trustworthiness by analyzing factors like their experiences with you, your record, competence and attitude and the organizational culture, which reflect the four aspects of trust. So, you must use your speech and actions to make the right impression on your employees. Here are a few guidelines for you to begin:

• Keep up your promises
• Own mistakes
• Contribute all you can for the success of your team
• Keep developing your abilities
• Walk the talk
• Do what you believe is right even if you have to pay a price for it
• Listen to what others have to say and do it with empathy
• Trust your employees and their abilities
• Praise them for their success and share their success story with others
• Accept people as what they are and respect them
• Place the interests of your team members before yours

Making people trust you sometimes takes more time than you anticipate which is justified as we also do not trust someone till we see the trends. Moreover, to gain trust from others you must first trust them. In fact distrust is the biggest obstacle in the way to becoming trustworthy. But trusting others can sometimes land you in trouble. So, you must promote a trust based work environment gradually. The initial struggles that you face in this attempt are worth it as such an environment promotes good teamwork and success.

Once a mutual trust based relationship is established between you and your employees, leading them becomes easy. The task of management is a cakewalk for a good leader. You can educate, counsel, inspire and motivate them, however, you must also ensure that you do not, through any action, raise doubts about your trustworthiness


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