19 Feb

The ‘Glue of life’

trustStephen Covey said that TRUST is the glue of life. The power of trust comes from it’s ability to inspire and influence. It strengthens relationships and is an essential ingredient in effective communication. All of these things are required if you are to be a good leader. People will only follow those that they trust.

There are 8 basic steps in building trust as a leader…none of them mutually exclusive.

  1. Never compromise on matters of principle or standards of excellence, even on matters of minor importance.
  2. Be persistent and never give up.
  3. Have a clear vision of where you are going and communicate it often.
  4. Know what you stand for and set high standards – don’t be afraid to tackle problems despite the risks.
  5. Spend less time managing and more time leading – lead by example.
  6. Bring out the best in others – hire the best people and delegate responsibility – but stay in touch.
  7. Have confidence in yourself and those around you – trust others.
  8. Accept blame for failures and credit others with success – possess integrity and personal courage.

A good test of whether you are trust worthy is to answer the 4 questions linked to the ‘Nature of Trust’ as discussed by William Shoemaker (6 August) at https://thehubcpn.wordpress.com/.

  1. Do you keep your promises? Often promises or commitments are made flippantly and in the heat of the moment. Consider your promise before committing to it. It is often useful to manage expectations by agreeing to a time line and stating any conditions, which would make it difficult to meet your promise.
  2. Are you open in your communication with everyone? I worked with a team who had a communication style of ‘brutal honesty’. Although open and honest this style often led to conflict. Be open in your communication but agree on a communication style with your team and associates. Even suspicion that the communication is less than open will make the listener doubt the message.
  3. Do you always act with honesty and integrity and without hidden agenda’s? Being transparent in your actions not only creates trust but more importantly allows others to focus on their own tasks without having to wonder about what else is happening.
  4. Do you always meet your obligations to look out for other people’s interests as well as your own? People are reluctant to follow instructions or decisions where the outcome will be unfavourable to them. Your decisions and actions will be followed and generally not questioned if others feel that you have their interests at heart.

I have worked with over 500 teams in Africa and Europe and found that one of the most important elements in developing high performance teams is teaching them how to build trust.