I had a great call with a coachee today. The coachee is a very successful leader who has risen to the top of his organization through hard work and getting things done. He asked me a question, which from his perspective, was grounded in something he cared about, making his organization great. He wanted to know “How can I make my employee’s trust me?”
What really grabbed me was the word “make.” Can you make someone trust you? Can you make someone follow you? Can you make someone do anything? The answer, when you explore it deeper, is that others only follow or trust us when they choose to. They choose to follow a leader, They choose to trust a leader.
How then can you become a leader that others choose to trust? Well, much like the punchline in the famous joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”-practice, practice and more practice. Becoming a leader that others trust is a practice. Fundamentally what you are doing is showing them that, in you, they can trust four attributes:
1) You are reliable- you do what you say you will do.
2) You are competent- you have the skills and abilities to do what others trust you can do.
3) You are sincere- you mean what you say, you do not have other motives. In a word, you are honest.
4) You have the same care as they do- they can trust that what you both care about is in alignment.
So do a quick check- would you trust you? If not, maybe it is time to head to your favorite leadership gym to start practicing. What you say, you don’t have a place to practice? Maybe its time for a coach…