The Meltdown of Leadership – Breach of Trust
As a leader, it is vital that you build trust with your employees. If you take a look at many businesses, this is a major problem that companies face. Employees don’t trust their leadership and often with great reason.
What breaks trust with employees? There are a number of reasons that team members distrust their employers. Here are some of the top scenarios that cause trust to be broken.
Promises are made that are broken. Maybe an individual was told that they would be given a raise, made management, or some other career advancement. When these promises are not kept, it not only affects the one employee, but others in the company will lose trust.
The company puts employees in a place where they fail the customer. Much of the time, your team members are the ones that take the criticism if the company fails to deliver to customers. Even if it isn’t the team member’s fault, they still have to take the blame.
Whatever the reason for the distrust, it is on you as a leader to fix the errors and restore trust. In a perfect world, trust shouldn’t have been broken in the first place. However, it happens sometimes, even if you didn’t mean for it to.
How to build trust with your team – One thing that will help you when figuring out what you need to do to build trust with the team is to first put yourself in their place. This might mean working alongside the team to see how the day-to-day flow of the business acts. If you already have a good understanding of that, it will help you to do what is necessary to keep their trust.
There are two main areas you need to focus on when building trust, competence and character. Let’s explore each of these concepts.
Character – Character encompasses who you are as a person. Your character determines how you handle your employees, customers, and business. The characteristics you possess has a lot to do with how your team will perceive you.
Make sure that you are exhibiting integrity, which goes beyond honesty. Honesty is when you state truths. Integrity is when you do the right thing, whether anyone is looking or not.
Competence – Competence encompasses what you do. It can be your capabilities, skill sets and track record. How successful you are in your endeavors will build trust with your employees. When a boss shows true leadership skills that pay off in results, the team can trust their decisions and direction.
It is important that you make your actions and characteristics ones that your team can trust. When you have a team that trusts you, your company will be more successful. If you have a team that doesn’t trust you, your business will suffer.
Source: Adapted from Emory Mulling, writing in Atlanta Business Chronicle, American City Business Journals Inc.
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