Four Ways to Become a More Trusted Leader

One of the key qualities of an outstanding leader is being able to create outstanding relationships built on a foundation of trust.

These relationships will have a flow on effect to all areas of the business, allowing you to increase employee engagement and satisfaction, as well as helping you drive outcomes company wide. 

So what does it take to build these relationships at work? How can we embed a culture of trust?

In this article we’ll share 4 key ways to achieve this:

One – Suspend Judgement

Sometimes as leaders we subconsciously judge others actions without even realising we’re doing it – which only serves to weaken your relationships with your team. 

Imagine this scenario for a second… someone in your team shows up to work 10 minutes late. 

If they’re a star employee chances are your immediate response would be to respond with care and to check if they’re ok. 

In contrast, if they have been underperforming, you’re probably more inclined to judge the fact that they are late, and attribute it to laziness or carelessness. 

In order to build strong, trust-based relationships, you need to be able to suspend this judgement. Think of every day as a fresh start and see the potential in every person you work with. 

Two – Assume Positive Intent

For some reason as humans we’re pre-dispositioned to assume negative intent. When something goes wrong or when someone does something that we don’t think is right, we automatically assume that they’ve done it on purpose. 

In reality, this is rarely the case. Generally, when people annoy or inconvenience us it is done so unintentionally and unknowingly.

Defaulting to assuming negative intent can not only have a negative effect on our mindset and relationships, but it can also detract from our skills as leaders.

As leaders, it’s critical to assume positive intent instead. Doing so allows us to take intent out of the picture and keep the focus on behaviour.

Three – Be curious

In ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’,  Stephen Covey shares the principles – “Seek first to understand, and then be understood.” As opposed to making snap judgements or assigning intent, always take a stance of curiosity. 

So how does this work in practice?

Let’s say an employee has lost a million dollar deal for the business. Your first instinct might be to respond in anger, however this won’t help the situation. 

Instead look at the situation through the lens of curiosity – Why did this happen? How can you help your team learn from this? How can you grow as a business?

Four – Catch people doing the right thing

If you look for the worst in people, you’ll see the worst. If you look for the best, you’ll see the best. 

While it’s easy to fixate on the mistakes people make, or what they are doing wrong, instead change that lens to constantly be searching for the things your team are doing right. 

Inspiring leaders make a big deal about the little things. So recognise your people for the small contributions they make, linking it back to how they are helping the organisation achieve its vision.

We dive into these four ways to become a trusted leader in great detail in the video below, take fives minutes out of your day now to give it a watch.


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