How much do others really trust you?
Most people see themselves as rather trustworthy. The problem is that your perception may not be the same as the picture others have of you.
How can you tell if you need to boost your trust factor with others?
Beth was one who excelled in competence – but something in her character kept others from feeling confident in her leadership. They just didn’t trust her.
Sure, she was capable and committed to the company. Her results were hard to beat. But when she was put in charge of a team, her CEO received significant backlash.
“I’m not saying she isn’t a great executive,” said one team member. “But she’s hard to read and she often switches gears in the middle of a project. It’s like fielding flies. How can we work with her if she doesn’t share what she’s thinking? I’m not sure I can trust her.”
What part of trust was lacking in Beth? Transparency – a vital piece to sound leadership character. Where she excelled in performance and results, she lacked the ability to share readily with others. This absence of communication led others to believe that she did not value their participation. In fact, this stemmed from Beth’s fear of being doubted in her decision-making. But that’s another article. The end result for our purposes here was that because Beth did not communicate, people did not trust her. They saw her as competent, but untrustworthy all the same.
Another executive, Jack, connected well with and respected others in all he undertook. It was clear that he held positive intent with all endeavors. This is all part of leadership character.
But Jack’s ability to hold himself and others accountable – a part of leadership competence – was woefully inadequate. As a result, Jack’s performance and that of his team was hit and miss. Because he found it difficult to stick with a plan and hold others to it, he missed several good opportunities for promotion.
You’ll see in the list below that there are indeed two vital parts to trust:
- Affective trust – the emotional part of trust. How well are you able to create mutually-based concern for and with others? How well do you create bonds with others that feel solid and authentic? We call things relating to this part of creating trust your leadership character.
- Cognitive trust – the rational part of trust that causes others to feel you are reliable, dependable, competent. We call things relating to this part of creating trust your leadership competence.
As you review this list, what do you celebrate about your own leadership? Where are your growing edges?
And would others say the same?
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.