As I shared in my last post, Leaders are standard-bearers who establish the basic tenets of integrity throughout their organizations. They must clearly communicate four key values and expectations: truthfulness, honesty, respectfulness and positivity.
Positivity is an often-overlooked means of building mutual trust, as long as one’s efforts are neither faked nor forced. As I share with my coaching clients, infusing your culture with a positive mindset has many powerful benefits. Cynicism and sarcasm are trust killers. People are repelled by these behaviors, knowing nothing trustworthy comes from them.
A positive approach assumes the best in people and gives them the benefit of the doubt, thereby setting them at ease. Trust-building leaders expect their staff to exhibit thoughtful behavior and language. Add this requirement to your organization’s code of conduct or formal HR policy.
Promote a Spirit of Unity
Leaders who instill a spirit of unity build a culture more prone to trust. It’s really no secret: co-operation and teamwork promote trust. I have seen unity become the norm when people share the load and help each other. Reciprocity is a noticeable and contagious trust-building act. Coworkers dedicated to a common cause commit to each other. They lift each other up and spur one another on.
When dissention or un-cooperative behavior occurs (which they do on occasion), great leaders help employees grasp the power of reconciliation. They don’t expect their people to always get along, but they count on them to apologize and forgive so relationships can be restored and strengthened. Durable relationships lead to mutual trust.