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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

7 Sure Fire Ways to Generate Trust as a Leader

If you want to keep a workforce engaged and inspired in times of change, if you want a RESILIENT team, then developing trust is a must! Consider these seven resolutions.

  1. Express sincere gratitude and acknowledge what employees do. A milk-toast “thank you” is not enough. You need to know specifically what people do so they realize you actually understand and appreciate their effort.

  2. Tell the truth.  Always !!!  Don’t hide behind clichés or boilerplate answers. If you don’t know an answer, admit that.  If legal says that certain information must not be made public, ask legal WHY and then explain that to the troops.

  3. Demonstrate courage. It takes courage to make a stand. It takes courage to forge ahead despite odds. Stand up for what you believe, thus demonstrating authenticity.

  4. Be consistent. Don’t play favorites or say one thing and do another. In fact, you can practice courage by asking your team to point out anytime you ARE inconsistent.

  5. Be transparent. Hidden agendas are the manure that grows a stinging nettle of mistrust.  This means YOU must be very clear about your own motives.

  6. Look out for others. Take the time to coach, mentor, or guide. Know what are the career aspirations your different team members. What can you do to help them achieve that? In a country club operation, the President/General Manager knew that one employee wanted to be in upper management. This very wise GM told the employee, “ You can’t have my job but I will give you as much experience as I can, teach you what I know, and help you find that position when you are ready.”  So—yes, he was going to eventually lose a solid employee but in the bargain, he got 200% effort from the employee and the admiration of fellow employees.

  7. Pick up trash. Be willing to job in and do what is necessary. Southwest Airlines had a practice that senior managers had to work at least one day a month in a field that was totally not their department.  The office postal clerk was sick and the senior vice president of marketing said, “I’ll deliver the office mail.”  In another instance, a vice president sat on the floor with the team and stuffed envelopes for a marketing push.

Trust that YOU will make a difference in your team and in YOU.

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