10 Actions Leaders
Can Take to Build Trust
1. To build mistrust: Talk with
others about problems you are having with a peer without doing everything
reasonably possible to solve the problem through direct communication with that
trust: Solve problems through direct communication at the lowest equivalent
level: yourself and peers; yourself and your direct manager; yourself, your
manager and her manager.
2. To build mistrust: Take credit for yourself, or allow others
to give you credit for an accomplishment that was not all yours.
To build trust: Share credit
generously. When in doubt, share.
3. To build mistrust: Make a
pretended or "soft" commitment, e.g., "I'll respond later."
To build trust: When in doubt
about taking on a commitment, air your concerns with the relevant parties. When
engaged on an ongoing commitment, communicate anticipated slippage as soon as
you suspect it.
build mistrust: Manage/supervise from behind your desk only.
To build trust: Spend
"informed" time mingling, asking non-assumptive questions, making only promises
you can keep , working back through existing lines of authority.
5. To build mistrust: Be
unclear or not exactly explicit about what you need or expect. Assume that
anyone would know to do/not do that.
To build trust: Be explicit and
direct. If compromise is productive, do it in communication, not in your mind
6. To build
mistrust: Withhold potentially useful information, opinions or action until
the drama heightens, thus minimizing your risk or being wrong and maximizing
credit to you if you're right.
To build trust: Be timely; be
willing to be wrong
7. To build mistrust: Communicate with undue abruptness when
others venture new opinions or effort.
To build trust: Acknowledge the
intent and risk of innovation first, then address the issue with your honest
8. To build
mistrust: Withhold deserved recognition at times when you yourself are
To build trust: Extend yourself
beyond your own short-term feeling and validate success or new
9. To build
mistrust: Hold in your mind another department's productivity or behavior
as a reason for less cooperation.
To build trust: Get in direct,
tactful communication, airing your problem and seeking win/win
build mistrust: Have performance evaluation time the only, or primary, time
for coaching input.
To build trust: Schedule regular meetings for input and
feedback for those reporting to you; develop systems for floor people to
evaluate supervisors and managers.
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