As leaders and as people, sometimes we can be blind to reality. Not unlike Mr. Magoo, the loveable, nearsighted cartoon character from the mid 1980’s, the failure to observe and acknowledge the facts often leads us to complicate relatively simple issues. As leaders and executive decision makers, our team counts on us to make the right choices and lead them in the proper direction. They listen to what we say and do simply because they trust us. So how do we build trusting relationships and promote trust in our organizations?
Trust is a By-Product of Being Open and Vulnerable
Organizations can be tough places. But stubbornness to admit or “see” the real issues behind problems leads to a whole new set of problems. When we trust ourselves, we can more effectively lead others, who will find common ground for building trusting relationships, the cornerstone of successful organizations. Trust is a byproduct of being open and vulnerable to others. Ask good questions, listen intently to the answers and use what you hear to foster positive relationships based on trust. Fostering trust begins with being sensitive and showing our own vulnerability. Folks are more likely to create open exchanges with people to whom they can relate, not only professionally but also as a human being who cares and has walked down many of the same paths that they have.
Transparency Keeps it “Real”
How do you become “real” in the eyes of your team? By sharing the one quality we all possess – humanness. Being transparent means making sure your team understands your core belief system. It means living your values and being predictable in terms of how you behave. Sure, you’re not always going to do exactly the same thing every time, or make the same decision over and over, but as long as there is consistency, reinforced by values, your team will trust both you and the organizational culture.
Trusted Leadership Demands Responsibility, Accountability and Action
There is no place to hide because inspiring trust begins and ends with courageous leadership and strength of character. Leadership on this level demands responsibility, accountability and action. Through your own actions, deeds and openness, you can build trust. Hold yourself and those you work with accountable and make the tough choices when necessary. Keep the Mr. Magoo mentality where it belongs – in the comics – your team will trust you for it. Open yourself to others, give trust and you’ll receive it boundlessly, view your world and your environment through the candor of objective eyes, and always be authentic and genuine.