In our latest series of blogs we’re considering the importance of trust in high performing leaders.
We’ve been researching some of latest thinking on the factors that attract, earn or maintain trust in executive leaders in organisations. This research confirms our own experience in coaching senior executives, that trusted leaders demonstrate characteristics such as:
- Competence – people can trust they know what they are doing
- Commitment – people can trust them to be fully committed to the organisation, the purpose, the vision, the values and the people
- Integrity – people can trust them to act ethically and with fairness
However, we’ve also noticed from the research and our experience that another key character trait that builds trust is sincerity. People can spot insincerity a mile off. One definition of sincerity is to be ‘free of falseness’ which is a vital characteristic of any authentic leader. Knowing and being yourself. Being open and straightforward.
Since the 1700’s the formal way of ending a letter has been ‘Yours Sincerely’ but with the dominance of email nowadays it’s not a phrase that we use as much in our everyday communications. A leader who is behaving sincerely attracts trust because people can see when a leader is acting genuinely and they will follow an authentic leader they can trust through all of the changes and challenges in their business.
The TOWARD Team
Trust – does it really matter?
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Stephen R. Covey
We’ve been getting curious about the concept of Trust recently in TOWARD. It’s a topic that crops up regularly in our work with clients, be it in a group or a team setting or in a 1:1 coaching conversation and it often provokes strong emotions in the discussions.
For some, trust is something you earn, for others, once broken it is challenging (some would say impossible) to rebuild; many of us can find it challenging to let go of old betrayals and begin to offer trust again. We have noticed that for some, trust is something which builds slowly and deeply over time whilst for others it is offered freely, until broken.
Much has also been written in leadership literature on this topic by authors and senior leaders, all of whom present their thinking on the behaviours and practices a leader can build to support trustful relationships.
This literature presents a growing body of evidence which links strong business performance to high levels of trust in an organisation, especially in these complex and dynamic conditions within which we currently exist.
This is the first of our new blog series on Trust. We’ll be putting more thought into this topic in the coming months and would love to hear your views and your experiences of trust as a leader.
What do you believe are the core ingredients for strong, trustful adult relationships? What are the challenges to sustaining trust over time? Does trust really matter or are we overemphasising its importance?
Send us a tweet or any thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.