So, do you trust yourself as a leader and feel trusted by and trust in your leadership? Or is trust just a word that is not backed by awareness and action?
Unfortunately, the answer is “just a word.” Lack of transparency, internal politics, siloed departments, scarcity mentalities and hidden agendas make it difficult for anyone to trust themselves let alone others. Yet in an age when the only thing often certain is uncertainty and chaos is the new normal, feeling trust and trusted is more essential than ever. It is sometimes all you have to keep you doing more to see and seize new opportunities and expect the unexpected as things change course constantly.
If you are not feeling trust or trusted, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I feel safe speaking up or judged when I do?
My organization’s research has shown that the vast majority of leaders (85%) feel that transparency or feeling valued and respected are most important to creating an environment in which trust thrives. Only 12% of leaders said what the employees said mattered the most: a safe environment where no one is judged. When your leaders embrace an open dialogue, you feel safe to speak-up knowing that there are no hidden agendas.
Do my leaders provide and accept unconditional feedback?
Corporate cultures that promote honest and direct feedback have leaders who empower people to break down silos and build bridges to strengthen communication, clarity and understanding top to bottom. They don’t leverage titles to limit others voices but use them to give others voices without thinking it makes them feel weak.
Do my leaders have their own identities and empower me to have my own?
Too many leaders have been conditioned only to see and be accountable for what others want them to see and be, rather than what they seek. Too many employees feel this and thus just do what they are told, not passionately pursuing who they are in support of their leaders and the organization. These leaders and their people are losing their identities as never maximize their potential because they don’t trust the organization to value taking that risk to do more than what they are told.
Does my boss invest in relationships?
As the needs of the marketplace rapidly evolve, relationships in the workplace built on collaboration and trust are the foundation upon which organizations weather the storms of change and evolve. The success of a leader requires strong followership that is earned over time. As such, employees have more power than they think they do over their leaders. Without employees that trust them, leaders have short-term, artificial influence, at best. As such, leaders must work to earn the trust of their employees by investing in those relationships – just as much as employees must work to earn the trust of their leaders.
If you answered no or I don’t know to any of these questions turn the spotlight of accountability on yourself first and ask if you have the courage to commit to changing those answers. Are you ready to believe in yourself and your people and make them feel your trust? Then the possibilities are truly endless.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.