Your role as a leader is to find out where your people currently are and to get them to follow you to where you want them to be. People will not follow a leader they do not trust. One of the saddest situations I’ve observed is when someone loses her job for a behavior or performance issue she could have corrected if she had just been told about it before it got to a point of no return.
Building trust with your staff is a challenging task. The process cannot be rushed, and it can’t be granted just on the basis of your position or experience. It takes a long time to develop trust with your team members and, unfortunately, it can all be lost in an instant. Trust is absolutely that fragile and should not be taken for granted. Here are some common ways leaders break trust with their people:
• Not following through on a commitment or promise
• Failing to accept responsibility for their mistakes
• Taking credit for their people’s work
• Avoiding responsibility
• Holding on to or actively hiding information that should be shared
Avoid these and other trust-breaking behaviors. Being honest with your people about where they stand in terms of their performance is vital to building and maintaining their trust. If your people trust your intentions and they believe you to be a person of good character, you can give them almost any feedback and the relationship will survive.
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