Trust & Leadership

MSME ARTICLE #2/2017 : APRIL 21st 2017

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody- is to trust them!
~Ernest Hemmingway~

One of the traits of successful Leaders is that they embody the value of trust. When the leader exemplifies this value to his organization, inevitably, this helps to create a workplace that endorses a high level of trust. Some of the outcome that are visible when this scenario happens include; things get done at a faster speed and at a lower cost, there is higher retention levels, deeper loyalty, stronger relationships, greater levels of creativity, innovation and finally, richer bottom-lines. This is the aspiration of all leaders of organizations.

Similarly, in the coaching relationship, a coach will endeavor to build a strong and powerful ‘trusting’ relationship with their client (leaders). This is one of the key core competencies of the coaching world. Building a deep level of trust between them will enable a richer level of coaching conversation. This will enable the coach to help the leader appreciate “who” he is at his authentic level. This is similar to the un-peeling of the layers of the onion, to finally reach the core of the human being! At this deep level, the coach enables the leader to see his core, viz. being Whole, Resourceful, Competent and Creative.

How do Leaders Build Trust?
Leaders can build trust by seeing themselves as being Whole, Resourceful, Competent and Creative. When leaders do this, they have the power to create trust for themselves as well to earn trust from their team and their organization. One of the action steps that leaders can do to start feeling whole, resourceful, competent and creative is to start with the end in mind. In order to achieve the desired end-result, the coach will support and partner with the leaders to set their intention. The coach will use powerful questions such as;
oWhat is the reputation they would like to build for themselves?
oWho do they want to brand themselves to be, to their team and to their organization?
oWhat is the legacy they want to be cherished for, by their team and their organization?

The coach enables leaders to gain clarity over the type of leader they want to be. For example, the reputation they want to build may include; being compassionate, empowering, having integrity, having values that uphold good work-ethics, having gratitude and leading by example. Once the leaders have identified the reputation or brand, this will become the goal for the leaders. The coach then seeks the significance of the desired goal and enables the leaders to dig-deep into the impact of the reputation they are seeking. Fuelled with this new insights, leaders begin to embrace their new being. Next, the coach explores the current strategies, action or behavior of the leaders with respect to their desired brand or reputation. An assessment is made of the current strategies to identify which of them are helpful and which are not. The helpful strategies are endorsed and continued while the un-helpful ones are discarded.

Besides that, the coach works with the leaders to co-create new and powerful action steps or behavior patterns that would enable them to spearhead towards their desired reputation or brand. For example, if the leader’s desired reputation and legacy is in the realm of “being empowering”, then some positive and influential action steps that could be co-created with the coach are; widening the extent of his delegation to his team and exercising a system of monitoring that has a fine balance between micro—management versus giving them full liberty. Some details of identifying specifically who is the manager that the leader has lowest trust level and ascertaining what areas the leader is willing to “let-go” and empower him, instead.

Next, the coach and leaders will collaborate and set specific timelines. The coach becomes the accountability partner to ensure that the leaders fulfill their designed plan of action. Along the timeline, agreed actions steps will be reviewed to assess their success as well as to decide if any re-calibration is needed.

When leaders abide by the designed plan of action, they are instinctively building up their trust levels. They are strengthening their reputation, branding as well as their legacy for themselves, their teams and also their organization.

“Trust cannot become a performance multiplier unless the leader is prepared to do it first”
~Craig Weatherup-former CEO of PEPSICO~

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