Relationships founded on trust are highly valued, especially in relationships between a boss and employee. The best company cultures, where collaboration is humming and the needle is moving on performance, demonstrate a high degree of trust. Marcel Schwantes, founder of Leadership from the Core, believes that trust starts with the people you've placed in leadership positions.
Great Place to Work, the global research consultancy, recently found that 92% of employees believe that their managers are people they can trust.
Not every person in charge of another person has the awareness to know which behaviors produce the kind of trust that motivates and inspires others. For those that do, it is a continuous journey of personal development. In their journey, they'll most likely find that without these things being displayed day in and day out, trust is absent.
Here are 5 leadership habits that lead to trust, according to Schwantes:
1. Be willing to trust and believe in your people first.
Conventional thinking says that people have to earn trust, and if they violate it, it's difficult to earn it back, right? But it has been found, in high-performing work cultures, that leaders are willing to give trust to their followers, as a gift, even before it's earned.
2. Lead from humility, not hubris.
"Good to Great" author Jim Collins has probably dedicated more time to researching and writing about humble leaders than any other topic in his landmark study of Level 5 Leadership. If humility is a word that makes you cringe, consider the evidence.
“Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It's not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious — but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves,” Collins says.
In essence, humble leaders achieve greatness without arrogance. They shift from ego to humility, which can drastically alter the outcome to their advantage.
3. Give the team the credit.
Leaders who deflect the spotlight away from themselves and allow their team members to shine in it gain respect and trust at an alarming rate. There is something very liberating for employees when they receive credit.
4. Seek input.
Effective communication isn't just about talking; it is also the ability to listen and understand what's happening on the other side of the fence. Leaders that you can trust seek others' input on how something is working, or how they are showing up in their leadership path. They might ask: "How am I doing?" or "Can I get your input or opinion on this strategy?"
5. Share information.
Information is power and one of the best ways to build a sense of trust in people. It may mean disclosing information that is considered privileged, but it communicates trust.