Cultivating Trust

It’s hard for people to do the things you ask of them as a leader if they don’t trust you. If you want people to trust you, then you must earn it.

Character is a very important component of trust. What a person has in mind to do — intentions — are at the heart of character. They are what attract or repel us and lead to shaping our sense of whether to trust someone.

To lead others you must make clear to them what your intentions are. This can be accomplished by consciously taking deliberate steps to reveal your motives when you ask people to do things. First, talk openly about your intentions. Explain to people the objectives you are striving for and why, and include an explanation of the values that guide your actions.

Then you have to follow through on what you say. It is easy for people to doubt your sincerity and not trust you when they see the difference between what you claim your intentions are and what you do.

Just as significant, you need to frequently explain to people why carrying out certain action steps are so important. A consistent message delivered in this way reinforces the reasons provided for performing these actions and not some alternative ones.

Yet, we don’t trust people just because their intentions are good. They also need to demonstrate to us their ability to do what they say they will do at a sufficiently high performance level. You can build this component of trust by inviting others to participate in making decisions and involving them in determining how to implement these decisions. Using the ShuraForAll tool will help with this.

You should regularly ask questions to increase your understanding of things and show your willingness to learn. By doing these things, you will be demonstrating that you know that you don’t know everything. That you trust your people and depend on them to trust you.

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