Every leader should understand that in every relationship, trust must be established. It's true that our grandparents’ generation gave trust without question. But today's world is different and trust must now be earned.
When we take a new position of leadership or when we receive new employees on our team, the level of trust is completely dependent on the other person’s impression of us.
Trust is dependent on four factors. I call them the “Four Gears of the Trust Engine™”.
1. Authority. One's position automatically comes with a degree of trust or mistrust, dependent upon how the person views our predecessors.
This is based largely on our job title. If our job title is manager, people will judge us based on the experiences they've had with managers in the past. Good or bad, that level of trust is inferred to us.
2. Our products or services. Trustworthiness of leaders is also determined by how they handle the products and services assigned to them. If they set high quality standards and attempt to live up to them, they will gain the trust of those they choose to lead. The opposite is also true.
3. Business relationships. Choosing to form alliances with people or companies seen as untrustworthy will diminish the likelihood people will trust us. Choosing those same alliances with the utmost of care, focused on reputation, others will trust us more.
4. Personal relationships. Beyond the relationships we choose professionally, whom we choose to spend our off-the-clock time has a direct impact on the way others view our trustworthiness.
Once you recognize how these Four Gears of the Trust Engine™ drive other’s trust in you, you will understand how trust is initially established. A great leader will assess this level of trust and immediately take the appropriate actions to increase it.
This is an excerpt from “Life’s Leadership Lessons” a collection of 53 anecdotal leadership lessons, each with an anecdote and the application of the topic in your everyday life. It is designed for use in weekly staff meetings or for personal development.
Four Gears of the Trust Engine™
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