“The best way to find out if you trust somebody is to trust them.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Great leadership is built on strong relationships with those in an organization. As a leader, you may wonder whether you’re empowering your team members to do their best or if there is more you can do to promote deeper workplace relationships.
If you’re asking these important questions about your leadership style, the first step is to take a closer look at yourself as a leader. Are you trusting your team to bring their best to the table or are you micromanaging and creating rules, regulations, and constraints?
A leadership that instills trust, practices kindness, and communicates shared values can facilitate team members to develop and contribute essential skills beneficial to the entire organization. This all begins with an inward focus, based on trusting yourself as a leader.
Why Trust Should Be Your #1 Priority in Leadership
Trust is, in a sense, confidence. It’s the act of relying on the integrity and good faith of yourself and others.
Those who do not trust themselves, cannot trust others. You must first have confidence in your leadership decisions and your team members before you can inspire and motivate those you work with.
Once you trust yourself and your team, a sense of community begins to shape up which provides a setting for growth, collaboration, and teamingv.
In addition to trust, kindness fosters a space in which individuals are more likely to feel comfortable sharing thoughts and contributing their best selves. But how, as a leader, can you practice these important skills and weave them into your organization?
5 Proven Ways to Lead with Trust and Kindness
1. Trust yourself first, and instill trust in those you lead.
What does it mean to trust yourself? How do you practice self-trust? These are important questions that all leaders should dig into to understand what skills to practice.
Trusting yourself means depending on yourself and feeling confident in your abilities. It means feeling sure that you’ve make the right decisions and even when mistakes are made, you’ll figure out how to get past them.
This sense of trust, of self-confidence, creates a safety net of sorts with which you can move forward and make progress without doubting yourself every step of the way. The trust you build within yourself then becomes a foundation for trusting and relying on others.
Practice trusting yourself by repeating kind thoughts, such as, “I’m great at what I do and I have confidence in my choices.” As you develop a sense of trust in yourself, it will become clear why your team also deserves your trust.
2. Don’t micromanage – give your team space to be themselves.
Once you’ve begun practicing trusting yourself and your decisions, it’s time to do the same for your team members.
The whole purpose of a team is to collaborate, communicate, and balance the skills that each individual brings to the table. A leadership style that puts too much focus on managing every task, project, or meeting, can lead to several issues.
Team members who feel that you’re hovering over them can lose motivation to contribute their unique skills and may pull back from communicating or even leave the organization.
By trusting that each member of your team brings value and identity to the organization, you’ll begin to empower, inspire, and build confidence amongst your team.
Stop yourself from micromanaging, and instead, be an example of a hardworking and supportive team member.
3. Be patient and facilitate an environment of learning and respect.
Many growing organizations put pressure on their team members to reach ever-expanding goals. This pressure alone can cause feelings of being controlled, boxed in, and stressed out.
Instead of pressuring your team to work hard, make progress, and keep you in the know at all times, take a step back.
Trust that your team members are hardworking and will communicate with you. Trust that they understand the importance of their role. Permit them to learn about themselves and their skills on the job. Respect them as an individual and be patient with your requests.
As you encourage your team members to grow instead of putting pressure on them, they’ll naturally respond by sharing new ideas, providing useful feedback, and returning the trust that you’ve instilled in them.
This type of leadership does wonders for morale and team-building and creates lasting value in the workplace.
4. Listen deeply when others speak and reflect on what they’ve shared.
One important way to practice leadership that’s built on trust and kindness is to listen to your team.
Listening deeply to someone means removing all other distractions, looking him or her in the eye, and giving them the floor to speak. When you allow someone to share their thoughts, you’re being respectful. When you reflect first before responding, you demonstrate that you were listening and that you’ve thought through what they’ve shared.
This act helps your team members trust that when they come to you, they’ll have your full attention and they’ll receive a thoughtful response.
Be genuine when you reflect and kind in the way that you respond. It’s no surprise that having meaningful conversations creates much deeper connections between you and your team members.
5. Frequently communicate the shared core values of the organization.
Just by you practicing the core beliefs and values of your organization, they will start to become instilled in your team members.
Take it a step further by speaking about these shared values often. Spend time during meetings and events to touch on the aspects of kindness, trust, and respect that you enjoy seeing reflected throughout the organization.
Mention specific ways that team members can practice these core values and how they represent the mission and purpose of the organization. Talk about how these values are what unites this unique group of people.
The more you use your leadership role to instill the importance of your organization’s key morals, the sooner you’ll see each person beginning to practice them and take them to heart.
Practice Leadership that Cultivates Community
There’s no getting around the fact that you must practice, practice practice.
As you implement new ways of listening, encouraging, trusting, and respecting, you’ll witness your team members becoming more comfortable and growing together.
Think outside the box for ways to be kind, like recognizing achievements, focusing on progress that’s been made, or expressing understanding when things are moving a bit slower than expected.
Organize ways to keep shared values top of mind. This could be by putting up artwork or positive messages, creating a way to collect useful feedback, or proposing more group activities.
Once you begin to foster a community of respect, kindness, and trust, you and your team will work more fluidly together, reaching higher goals than ever before.
The Value of a Trusting and Kind Leader
Without a doubt, leaders who trust their team and practice kindness become some of the most inspiring and energizing people in the world.
These skills can be incorporated into any organization, but it takes a person dedicated to improving their leadership role to truly put them into practice.
You, as a leader, have the potential to make a big difference in the lives of others. Are you looking to improve your leadership skills with these and other principles?
Learn how to develop the T.R.I.C.K. mindsets through interactive leadership development with Gratus Labs. Contact us today!