People who feel trusted typically turn into higher performers and tend to put more effort into their work. So how do we ensure that we build trust? Start by trusting your team!  

Research suggests that leaders who struggle to get their teams to trust them:

1) Lack self-awareness, i.e. don’t understand how their actions communicate a lack of trust; 2) risk-aversion, i.e. maintain centralized authority, decision making and a bureaucratic culture that dissuades initiative by others; 3) bottom-line thinking that only secures bottom-line outcomes, vs. developing independent thinking.  

Instead: A) Leaders should take inventory of the organization and not assume trust, and assess their own conduct, i.e. ensure the company is setup to promote trust thru its practices and behaviors; B) give up more control incrementally and heighten tolerance for mistakes (we all make them at some point); C) share information and communicate openly and transparently; D) push for change and give your team authority to experiment; E) invest in developing people.  

Eventually, every leader’s own success rests in their ability to develop people and foster trust in others.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - Want Your Employees to Trust You? Show You Trust Them, by Holly Henderson Brower, Scott Wayne Lester, and M. Audrey Korsgaard