Does Your Leadership Style Build Trust?

Does Your Leadership Style Build Trust?

Today, identifying leaders according to their leadership style in terms of authenticity, relationship building, and emotional intelligence is more than just another fanciful trend or the latest craze in creating leaders.

Contributed by Steve Hale and Sam Young.

It is not completely clear how the relationship between knowledge sharing and interpersonal trust should work without a worker losing their uniqueness and value to an organization. The challenge of creating a diverse workforce where sharing is open and petty bickering is minimized is still an area of continuing research in leadership, particular across multiple cultures.

Defining leadership style

In essence, leadership is the ability of the individual to accomplish a vision or set objectives through the efforts and activities of followers. Fundamental to leadership in all but the most trivial forms is the creation of a trust relationship. Organizations spend vast amounts of time and money to develop or expand leadership traits for selected individuals. Developing trust is a valuable trait.

Today, identifying leaders in terms of authenticity, relationship building, and emotional intelligence is more than just another fanciful trend or the latest craze in creating leaders.

Answer the following questions to see how well you develop and enable trust within the organization.

Steps to building trust through your leadership style

  1. Willing to accept blame for team failures. As the leader, you are responsible for the outcome, so do not shift blame to your followers.
  2. Each person or knowledge worker has unique value, find it.  As the leader, it is your job to identify the value or strengths in every team member.  Use that strength(s) for the benefit of the team.
  3. Always work to build up each member of the team and do not criticize in front of peers or superiors.  Always acknowledge each person’s effort and never take credit for something that the team accomplished.
  4. As the leader if you fail, admit it to your team. If you hide the failure so will the team members.
  5. Build a culture where there is allowance for failure, and encourage each team member to experiment with ideas they developed and bring the idea forward. If a leader values innovation, they must also be prepared for some failure. Failing to unleash the creative force of your followers will leave the team weak and shallow to your competition.
  6. When there is disagreement the leader should develop an environment where constructive debate is encouraged. False agreement is destructive in the long term. If you are in a position where your team rarely disagrees, it is likely they are afraid of discussing the “truth”, which is ultimately fatal to leadership.
  7. Always do what you say and by when you say you are going to do it. If the commitment turns out to be impossible to accomplish communicate to those affected. Be honest and committed to your commitments made to the team.

Steve Hale leads technology teams that perform network and security assessments for various companies. He has taught technology at the university level and has earned degrees in accounting, information systems, business and leadership. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Sam Young assists companies in IT strategic planning, technology turn-around solutions, and has functioned as an interim CIO. With over thirty years of IT experience, his expertise spans many different industries – health care, education, hospitality, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Sam can be reached at [email protected]

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