Just as you need assurance that your employees will deliver to your expectations, they need to know that they can count on your support in getting their work done.
At any company, success and growth have their seeds in mutual confidence; team members and leaders must demonstrate and be able to rely on reciprocal trust. In fact, “trust is really one of the foundation pieces of demonstrating leadership,” says organizational consultant and coach Emil J. Sadloch, president of Sadloch Development Associates. Critical to developing that trust is:
- Modeling the way. That means honoring your commitments, not throwing people off guard or putting them on the defensive when priorities shift, and exhibiting consistent authenticity in your actions. These traits all help your employees to get a sense of your character and give them a foundation for having confidence in you as the leader.
- Earning the right to lead. Your actions, not your title, confer that right. Part of the process involves learning to speak about the company and its mission in a way that will be meaningful to the team. The goal is to guide employees toward an emotional connection to their work and to balance their responsibilities and accountability with empowerment and authority to act.
- Obtaining employee feedback. Each of your employees has a unique perspective on your company—what’s working well, what needs improvement, and what opportunities you may be missing. In addition to meetings, there are several online tools that can help you gather feedback, including DecisionWise, SurveyMonkey, Vetter, and more.
Creating a climate that fosters accountability and trust—and promotes open communication and encourages employees to offer their input—shows that you welcome and value team members’ thoughts and will act on good ideas, wherever they originate
Read the second in our series of Connections to Growth: Team guides, Tactics and Tech That Engage Your Team, to learn how cultivating trust and being a true servant leader is key to reaching your goals.