There is much being said about the idea of trust in recent times, and with good cause. Trust is critical when leading others, either directly, where you are the manager, or indirectly, like in a matrix where influencing is the key skill. Importantly, it is a critical element of employee engagement - after all, a position of high trust is what we aspire to as engaging leaders.
Over the years I have seen good leaders suffer because they get the trust dimension so terribly wrong; and most times it is not because they don’t understand the importance of trust, it is because they expect trust to be given almost immediately.
It does not matter that you have a great track record as a leader. It does not matter that you have immense pressure to get fast results. Neither give you the right to demand immediate trust. You are a stranger. Even if you are from the same organisation, and you are known, or some people have worked with you in the past, the fact that new trust has to be built in the context of this new role should not be taken for granted. Being known as a colleague is much different than being known as a leader. There are different qualities and attributes required in each role.
So how can you build trust and honour the relationships you want to build? Here are a few important things to remember:
Finally, trust is not something that needs to be spoken of or made explicit. It is something that occurs organically as a natural respect co-existing between two people or groups that has been earned. Aside from healthy results, you will know when you are in a high trust relationship or team…you will just know.