Those Who Trust Their Leaders Follow Their Leaders: Part Two

There are three primary pathways that science shows us can lead people trust their leader. Below we discuss the final two:

(Click the hyperlink for Part One.)

Competence. Employees want to follow leaders who they believe are highly capable at their job.  Although it isn’t necessary to be the expert on every facet of a team’s tasks, one should demonstrate clear ability that he or she is the person who should be leading this team. This doesn’t mean that one needs to brag about past accomplishments or go out of the way to show they necessarily know more than their followers, rather it is important that followers hold the belief that their leader knows about their success. When employees doubt the ability of the leader to make good decisions and do their job well, they become less committed and motivated to follow.

Walk the Talk. Are you seen by your followers as someone who can be counted on to do what they say they will do? Being seen as a leader who has both personal and professional integrity brings respect and the desire to follow. Integrity requires consistency in behavior aligned to ethical guidelines. Leaders at times can sometimes think they have more latitude given their heightened responsibility; being seen as someone who doesn’t have to follow the ‘rules’ which govern your employees is a recipe for ruining trust.

Together, showing you care, demonstrating competence and walking the talk are three actions that can be taken to help facilitate and maintain high levels of trust.

As such, if you want to build trust, prior to investing in a costly corporate retreat, you may wish to first evaluate how you are seen by your employees on these three dimensions and whether you can take some steps to improve.

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.