One of the most important jobs of a leader is to build trust among their teams.
If you lead a team where gossip is the norm, ideas are never challenged, or people don’t feel comfortable admitting mistakes, then there’s a trust problem.
The difference between low-trust and high-trust organizations is striking.
Research led by Professor Paul Zak, author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies, found that compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies reported:
- 50% higher productivity
- 70% more alignment with their companies’ purpose
- 13% fewer sick days
- 76% more engagement
- 29% more satisfaction with their lives
- 40% less burnout
Creating a high-trust culture begins at the top. As a leader, the best place to start is to ask, “How Trustworthy am I?”
Consider the following questions to gauge how others view your trustworthiness.
10 Questions to Determine if You Are A Trustworthy Leader
- How often do I promote viewpoints that are different from my own and encourage open conflict, dialogue and debate within my team?
- Do I acknowledge when I make a mistake?
- Do I help my team unemotionally deconstruct mistakes and failures to uncover the learning, without finger-pointing or blame?
- Do I clearly communicate priorities and why they are important?
- When priorities shift, do I explain why?
- Am I receptive to hearing bad news or negative feedback?
- Am I reliable and do I follow-through on the things I say I’m going to do?
- Do I make myself available to all levels of employees, listen without judgement and keep conversations confidential?
- Do I show up to meetings on time and make my team feel that their time is as valuable as mine?
- Is there minimal gossip and disrespect among my team?
Whether you lead a large global company or a small work-team, trust is the foundation for great leadership.
How do you measure up?
Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults.