Trust is a foundation that all great edifices and relationships are built on. Trust in leadership is an even more talked about topic. Why then do we rarely talk about what the formula is that makes that foundation so strong?
Here is an acronym I was introduced to a couple of years ago for building trust integrity with my own Aden Leadership twist on it:
Truth – Be truthful. Period.
Relevance – Share experiences and values with your team that build your credibility and commitment.
Unselfishness – Strive to understand. Be kind and compassionate.
Simplicity – Being a powerful example is simple and it goes a long way.
Timing – Be present now. Communicate in the now.
The Meaning of Trust
Truth in who you are, what you say, and your why. Every action should reflect your why. If it isn’t, are you being your authentic self?
Relevance has to do with truth and your “why”. Are you consistent in the information and message you are sharing with clients and those you serve? Connecting with people on a personal level as a leader brings out our humanity. When we acknowledge the people are more than the work they do, we serve them better.
Unselfishness opens you up to growth through other people. Listen to people, try to understand them, and in turn, you will grow because of it. If someone knows you have their back, they will be more willing and passionate about the work you lead them to do.
Simplicity is important to remember. Becoming a trustworthy leader doesn’t have to be an arduous journey. Just being a strong example of trust will ripple into how other people want to work and the relationships we build.
Timing is everything. It helps to build integrity and establish leaders as reliable. A part of timing is also staying with the times. It means you are making an effort to progress and make changes. As a leader, it shows that you are flexible and have a desire to improve.
Are You Building Trust?
Ultimately, are we believable and are we creating believability? If you are telling the truth the information is relevant, you are communicating for the growth of others, your message is simple and timely, then heck yes. Go through that acronym and ask yourself if you are doing each of those things to be a reliable and trustworthy leader. If you communicate through words and actions that your clients, employees, and mission are first and foremost AND you are genuine, then creating and maintaining trust won’t be difficult at all.
Trust is a hard foundation to develop. But it is undoubtedly a vital piece of a well-functioning organization. We do not spend enough time looking critically within our organizations to ensure we are truthful to ourselves and others. When we do spend time developing those characteristics, people will be more motivated, passionate, and creative in the work that we all do. Trust is what turns a group into a team.
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“You can have a compelling vision, rock solid strategy, excellent communication skills, innovative insight and a skilled team, but if people don’t trust you, you will never get the results you want.”
— David Horsager