Five ways a leader can build trust

Trust is one of the most important attributes of a leader. They must trust their employees and their own abilities, but perhaps most importantly, they must be trusted by others.

It can take a long time to build trust, and once it is broken, it can be difficult to build back up. Through my executive coaching courses in London I have spoken to employees who have a hard time trusting their bosses, which directly impacts productivity and the success of the business.

Here are five ways a leader can build – or rebuild – trust.

1. Understand that it takes a long time to build trust

Trust doesn’t happen overnight, and if you are trying to rebuild trust, you need to realise that it will most likely take a lot of time and perseverance.

2. Admit your mistakes

If you admit your mistakes, and confess when you have done something wrong, your employees are more likely to trust you. Showing that you know you made a mistake, that you would not do the same thing again in the future and you are sorry will help them trust you again.

3. Keep your promises

A no-brainer, right? To keep your promises, just do what you say you are going to do. To build trust you need to prove that you deserve it. If you promise to do something, make sure you do it, even if you find you don’t really want to. Always remember, if you can’t keep your promises then do you really deserve to be a leader in the first place?

4. Tell the truth

Again, telling the truth might seem simple but it can be harder to implement into our daily lives. Sometimes you might think a white lie would be advantageous to a situation, but if you are found out, the trust your employees have in you will be broken. Though some people may not enjoy hearing the truth, at least they will know you will give them an honest answer.

5. Show vulnerability

Nobody is perfect and people find it easier to trust those who can appear vulnerable as it makes them appear more human.

What makes you trust others?

Anne Taylor is an executive coach in London at DIRECTions Coaching. DIRECTions Coaching offers individual coaching, group coaching, personal coaching and executive coaching.