Leadership starts with trust. If your people don’t trust you then you aren’t leading them. Pushing them maybe, but to lead you must have people willingly following you and that simply doesn’t happen without trust.
There are a number of things required to build trust but one of the main ones is credibility. You must be believable for people to start trusting you. Today I want to take a look at 3 ways that you can build credibility.
- Be vulnerable. This cannot be overstated. You have to be open with your team in order for them to feel like they are truly connected to you on a meaningful and authentic way. This doesn’t mean come to the office and talk about your fear of spiders. It means that when you don’t have the answer or are unsure, admit it and do what it takes to find it. Don’t be above criticism. Let your team question you and use the opportunity to refine ideas and communication skills. Perhaps most importantly, exist within your organization’s accountability structure. You must be willing to be held accountable by your team. That alone will create strong ties between you and give you a huge credibility boost.
- Be consistent. Consistency conveys authenticity. What I mean here is that your actions and words should always line up. What you say is important should be reflected in your actions. You should back up what you do with what you say, don’t try to hide or sugarcoat what you’ve done. People catch on to unauthentic leadership faster than the common cold. For instance, let’s say a leader professes to be part of the team and always there to help out but is always first out of the office leaving the team to fend for themselves. How long will it take the team to start questioning how much that leader’s word is worth? Not very. But when a leader is consistent people will be much more effective because they know they have confidence in the authenticity of their leader.
- Take the blame and give credit away. This is a pretty common idea in leadership circles and that’s because it’s true and it works. When you are first to take blame and always ready to speak up on behalf of someone else’s contribution your team will rally to you. It is one of the most effective ways of showing that your priority is team success and growth, and not just personal glory.
We need credibility with a great many people in our lives. Whether you need to put in some time with the team that is your family, your business, your community or something else completely, these three tips will help you build a strong foundation for trust and teamwork.