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#316: 3 things you should focus on to rebuild trust in leadership
As trust in leadership drops to a near historic low, we suggest focusing clearly on these 3 items.
As John Maxwell says, leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. Law #6 of his 21 Irrefutable Laws is the Law of Solid Ground. Trust is like change in a leader’s pocket. Each time you make good decisions, you earn more change. When you make poor decisions, you pay out some of your change to people.
We build trust by consistently exemplifying competence, connection, and character.
Character makes trust possible, and faith makes leadership possible.
Are we running out of change?
Trust has been evaporating over the past two years. During the pandemic, we had some of our highest engagement with employees and trust. What has happened in the ensuing years to reduce that trust?
Leaders feel like they always have to have the correct answer. Therefore, they delay communication with their team until they are sure. Some leaders must be 50% sure, whereas others need 95%.
In the early stages of the pandemic, an astonishing 55% of employees strongly agreed that their leaders communicated a clear plan of action in response to COVID-19. However, by the middle of 2022, only 22% strongly agreed that their leaders expressed a clear plan for moving forward post-pandemic.
What is ironic regarding the increased levels of trust during the pandemic is leaders honestly didn’t know what to do at first - yet faith grew.
#1 They communicated clearly
Leaders showed their vulnerability, they were transparent, and they asked for help. They communicated clearly what they wanted to do and connected with their teams in ways that had never been done before. CEOs were working from home, in baseball caps and dogs barking in the background, while on a ZOOM with the entire team.
When leaders clearly articulate their vision and the approach needed, they offer their employees a road map for where to focus their energy. Many leaders find more traction using a change management method that curates communication into short, tactical "chunks."
#2 They lead and support change
As leaders seek to build trust, they must first give their managers the tools to communicate: Articulate the vision, explain the why, answer questions, and help their people believe in the change.
If you ask your team to work at home and in the office (hybrid), give them the tools needed, such as; improved internet speeds, ZOOM Cameras, and better headsets. Offer work-from-home training, and recognize that work-life balance will be interrupted.
Leaders should ask themselves what they need to know to be productive in this new environment they want to build.
#3 They must inspire confidence in the future
Followers don’t need the entire plan in detail. Instead, they need a broad sense of the primary goal and the next steps. By giving information in digestible chunks, leaders communicate that they have a plan and know how to get there. They also highlight and celebrate successes or progress along the way.
Celebrating the more minor successes throughout the change makes it easier for the team to envision what the program will look like. Confidence will grow as more success is stacked up. And your picture of what that looks like becomes more believable.
If you continue to use these three methods to build trust, your next newer and bigger vision becomes easier to sell.
Building trust is hard work today, but it will lead to a better tomorrow! Having issues developing trust within your team? Schedule a 30-minute consultation with the Kole Performance Group!
The data was found in a recent survey published by Gallup.