Trust is one of the foundations of leadership – its’ the lubricant on the gears of a high performing team. Without trust we cannot reach our full potential.
So the question is: How do we gain trust? We live in a time – in a society – where skepticism continues to accelerate on a daily basis. It used to be that we trusted until we had a reason not to; today we are skeptical until we have a reason to trust. Let me propose three principles – three C’s – that I think will help you and your team members increase the trust that you have amongst each other.
[bctt tweet=”It used to be that we trusted until we had a reason not to; today we are skeptical until we have a reason to trust.”]
- Competence – we have to know our trade, our role, our piece of the puzzle. I had someone come up to me yesterday who said, “I’m still learning. I don’t feel that I’m competent yet.” I told him that he has to go get competent. You’ve got to study, to work hard. You’ve got to know your business better than anyone else – certainly better than those you want to lead.
- Character – character speaks to doing what we say we’re going to do. When we make a claim, when we say we’re going to do something, we create hope. When we deliver on that commitment we create trust. This is about accountability. People don’t care about our excuses. I’ve never seen trust built when someone says “I didn’t get it done but it wasn’t my fault.” When we make a commitment, we have got to find a way to deliver on that commitment if we want to build trust. Over-deliver on your commitment and refrain from committing if you are not sure you can deliver. [bctt tweet=”Over-deliver on your commitment and refrain from committing if you are not sure you can deliver.”]
- Connection – Years ago, Zig Ziglar taught me this quote and it still makes sense. He said “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” To me, caring speaks to our motives. Are we more worried about “I” or are we worried about “we”? Are we more focused on ourselves or on the people that we are leading and the people that are a part of our teams? Do they sense that our motives are self-serving or do they sense that it’s for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of our mission? The people on your team have to feel the connection – they have to know that you care about them as well as the mission.
Master these three C’s – competence, character and connection. Teach these principles to your team and watch the trust build (and with that comes increased levels of performance).