How to be a trusted leader and why people don’t trust their leaders


Why people don’t trust their senior leaders

One of the shocking but not surprising results of the Global Workforce study delivered by the Towers Watson

shows that only 49% people in the surveyed companies trust their senior leadership teams. Wow!

Trust is without any doubt one of the essential elements for anyone in order to follow their leaders – corporate, business, community, spiritual or political – it applies everywhere. And here we are. More than a half of people in a corporate world can’t say they trust their senior leaders!

So have a look at one of the potential reasons of the trust issue.

 What is trust?

According to Wikipedia ‘Trust is believing that the person who is trusted will do what is expected.’

If this is true than the key is to know what is expected. And that is in my opinion quite often an issue. So what is expected? In other words what do people expect from their senior leaders?

If people do not know what to expect, they start to project their own expectations into what is expected from senior leaders.  And of course, then the disappointment happens. Always.

Trust is essential especially in complex systems. More complex the system is then more trust is needed, as more subjects have to rely on each other without

So if you want to be a trusted leader, follow these simple rules:

Communicate, what you offer and what is to be expected from you

  • be open and honest
  • stay consistent and congruent with who you are
  • communicate as often as possible – you can’t over-communicate this
  • communicate your values and your beliefs and act on them – be authentic
  • communicate  your goals and commitments – and deliver
  • check  the understanding of your commitments

 Keep your word

  • your own congruency is the key in building trust
  • stand for your values every time, all the time – otherwise they were not your real values and the trust in you is lost
  • in case you can not deliver  your goals and keep your commitments, explain what happened and take a responsibility fully
  • apologise, be honest and authentic and vulnerability – saying sorry and meaning it needs courage and people know it

How often does this communication happen between senior leaders and other people?

As in any other relationship, there are two sides of this issue. And so next time I will have a look at what the employees may do to trust their senior leaders.

I will appreciate your comments.

Karolina Maya

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