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Trust is foundation for every successful leader’s accomplishments. When people don’t trust leader, they won’t follow very far.
How do you, leader, address issue of trust?
Entire books have been written about trust, but, for purpose of this newsletter, I’ll stick with two quick tips.
The first comes from book, The Leadership Challenge. In their survey of leadership behaviors, James Kouzes and Barry Posner asked question, “What do you look for in a credible (i.e. – trustworthy) person?” The number one response – “They do what they say they are going to do.” So, trust building tip number one – do what you say you’re going to do.
The second idea comes from world of social psychology. Social science researchers have identified a key behavioral principle that affects development of trust. This principle is known as Principle of Reciprocity. The Principle of Reciprocity states that we tend to feel obligated to repay in kind what someone else has given to us. In a nutshell, it says that if you want trust, you must first give trust. Trust building tip number two – show people you trust them if you want them to trust you.
Trust issues almost always come back to leader. It’s possible that you can have isolated trust issues with just a few people. In this case, it may be just their personal problem. If you find yourself or if you hear someone else asking questions at top of this page - look out. You may have a systemic trust problem. If that’s case, your team is either in trouble or it’s about to be in trouble. Carefully evaluate what might have happened or might be happening to damage trust and immediately start applying two tips above to begin repair.
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Copyright 2005, Guy Harris
Guy Harris helps entrepreneurs, business managers, and other organizational leaders improve team performance by applying the principles of human behavior.
Guy co-authored "The Behavior Bucks System(tm)" (http://www.behaviorbucks.com) to help parents apply behavioral principles in the home. Register for Guy's monthly “Positive Principles” newsletter at http://www.principledriven.com/newsletter.htm