As children, many of us played the game “Follow the Leader”. The rules as I recall them were simple; everyone got in a line behind the “Leader” and did whatever they did or told us to do.  The rules of leadership in the real world are not so simple and leaders cannot expect team members to “get in line” and do whatever they tell us to do.  As a leader, especially a new leader or First Time Manager inspiring team members to follow us can be challenging.  We must first give them a reason.

It all starts with a foundation of credibility.  When others believe we are credible they are more likely to believe what we say, want to work with us and trust our judgement.

The Oxford dictionary defines credibility as the quality of being trusted and believed in.

 The top two contributors to employee satisfaction were respectful treatment of all employees at all levels (72 percent) and trust between employees and senior management (64 percent.

~ Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report, Society for Human Resource Management 2015

 Committed and engaged employees in high trust companies perform 20 percent better and are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization compared with employees in low trust organizations.

~Great Place to Work Institute

Trust is the essential ingredient in credibility and ultimately leadership success.  Trust develops over time through shared experiences, developing relationships one on one, multiple instances of follow through and living up to commitments.  Having a common language and framework will open up communication and foster a two-way dialogue between leaders and their teams.

The ABCD Trust Model developed by Ken Blanchard Companies is a helpful tool to support that dialogue.  The model outlines four components to building trust.

  • Able – does the leader demonstrate competence, the ability to do their job effectively and achieve results?
  • Believable – does the leader act with integrity? Are they honest and fair in their practices?
  • Connected – does the leader demonstrate care and concern for other people?
  • Dependable – is the leader reliable? Are they accountable and responsive to the needs of others?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on how you develop trust with your team members?

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