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6 ways to build trust as a leader | Harsh Johari Leadership Development

6 ways to build trust as a leader

Be authentic and genuine

Be clear on your intention. If at the end of the day, you are just looking for process output and business results and don’t really care about people, it will not work.  But if you want to trust your team members because you really want to build strong relationships with them, you really want to help and support them, you really believe that your success is linked to their success, then you have a really good chance to build a high performing team who trust and respect each other. Business results will follow 

Be clear about your intention

Be vulnerable

It all starts with you. You open up and the world will start opening up to you. Ofcourse, this is easier said than done. It needs courage and goes back to true intent. Behind that façade of a strong and powerful leader, you are ultimately human. You make mistakes, you feel hurt, you struggle. Admitting your mistakes, acknowledging your feelings and emotions is not easy. You expose yourself to potential risk and harm. But here’s the key – when you expose yourself and people don’t hurt and harm you, that’s when trust is built. Everyone is going through similar challenges and struggles in life. People can relate and connect better when you talk to them as one of them. When you open up and ask for help, you will be pleasantly surprised how many people are on your side. Admittedly, it is not easy and needs to be a gradual process at a pace you are comfortable with. Do not rush into it

When you expose yourself and people do not harm you, that is when trust is built

Meaning and action

Back up your words with action. Just saying “I trust you” does not mean anything, if you really don’t mean it. Your actions should reflect your commitment. And commitment has to be backed with consistency. Building trust takes time, so its almost a daily thing. How you live your life as a leader on a daily basis should reflect the fact you trust your people.

Your actions should reflect your commitment

Innocent till proven guilty

This should be your default position. Give people benefit of doubt. Many leaders start off from the opposite end. They assume people are not trustworthy till they prove otherwise. Time to change that approach. How about this – people are trustworthy till they prove otherwise ? Now this is not an easy position to take. It is difficult because of your own insecurities and past experiences.

Give people benefit of doubt

Look inside and let go

Trust sometimes has nothing to do with the other person. It is about your own fears. Your fear of lack of control, fear of failure as a leader. You worry that if your team does not do well, how will it reflect on you as a leader ? Its not fair to project your fear of failure on your team and start micromanaging them. Sometimes, this fear may come from past experiences.  And it is possible that in the past you trusted someone and they broke the trust. But does not mean every new person you meet will be untrustworthy. Ofcourse you learn from such experiences, you figure out what did not work and what you can do differently this time. Being cautious and moving ahead gradually is fine. Holding on to the past and not moving ahead is not

Do not project your fear of failure on your team

Talk less. Listen more

Some of the best conversations happen when you are silent. You are present and you are listening intently to your team member. When people feet heard, they can trust you. Being an effective listener means managing your emotions, managing your own urge to react immediately. The conversation is not about you. Its about them. If there is just one thing you can do improve your relationships ( personal and professional ), become a good listener

Speech is silver. Silence is golden

In the new normal, trust is the new approach and as a leader, these are the new skills you need to develop to lead your teams and organization in the future


PS : Whenever you are ready to raise your EQ as a leader, you can book a short exploratory call here ( Book Your Call )


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