You can connect with your team, maximize your leadership potential, and advance your career by developing trust. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, trust has a major impact on team members and their leaders.

They reported that team members at high-trust companies said they had:

  • 74% less stress,
  • 106% more energy,
  • 50% higher productivity,
  • 13% fewer sick days,
  • 76% more engagement,
  • 29% more life satisfaction,
  • and 40% less burnout.

Throughout my career, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons in building trust. They have served me well, and I believe they will benefit you. So, let’s start with providing your team members with feedback.

Team members are more engaged when they receive ongoing guidance rather than waiting for annual performance reviews. Let them know how well they’re doing and where they need to grow. Make your feedback timely and specific. Give team members plenty of opportunities to express their views too. Stay visible and keep your door open as much as possible. Listen with an open mind and act on useful suggestions.

Disagreements are natural when you spend 40 hours a week together. When you handle them constructively, they may even strengthen your relationships. Empower team members to seek their own solutions and help them to find common ground. Acknowledge your team members’ emotions and let them know you care. Try to see situations from their perspective. Choose words that are encouraging and kind. Be generous with sincere praise and congratulations.

Demonstrate competence by letting your results speak for you. Your team needs to know that you have the knowledge and experience to make sound decisions and oversee their work. That may mean keeping your skills up to date with additional education and training. Your team members are more likely to follow you if you explain the reasons behind your actions. Provide context, so they can understand the big picture and do their jobs more effectively.

Wise leaders know they have to collaborate with others to be successful. Turn to your team for advice and ideas. Delegate responsibilities. Call in outside expertise when you’re dealing with issues beyond your knowledge.

Always be true to your word. Think carefully before taking on commitments to be sure you have the capacity to deliver as promised. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Admit it when you’re unable to meet expectations. Blaming others or making excuses damages your relationships and prevents you from learning from your experiences. Pay attention to how your actions affect others and apologize when appropriate.

Self-interest provides the motivation for most of our actions on or off the job. However, it’s important to be honest with yourself when there’s a conflict between what you want and what is more advantageous for your team.

And by the way, what does your appearance say about you? Upgrading your wardrobe and body language could help you to look more like a leader.

Above all else, lead by example. Clarify your values and use them to guide you through your daily life. Strive to be truthful, ethical, and consistent.

Last, but not least, celebrate diversity and respect individual differences. Build a culture where each team member feels like they belong. Examine your organization’s policies and practices, as well as your own personal bias.

“Trust each other again and again. When the trust level gets high enough, people transcend apparent limits, discovering new and awesome abilities of which they were previously unaware.”

–David Armistead

Successful leadership begins with trust. When you and your team members have confidence in each other, you’ll enjoy higher morale and work more effectively as a team.

Are you earning the trust of your team?


Click HERE to listen to The MOORE Leadership Moment podcast and grow your leadership with experientially learned and researched-based leadership principles and best practices.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

Hi, I'm Kim, Your Leadership Guide. I equip aspiring leaders to lead with confidence, emerging leaders to expand their influence, and accomplished leaders to achieve significance!