Leaders Build Trust by Extending Trust

The Second Wave: Relationship Trust

Building the Wave of Relationship Trust requires deliberate trust-building behaviors. We have been exploring these behaviors each week, and in this post, we will look at the final trust-building behavior – number thirteen of thirteen.

There are three behaviors that combine both character and competence: listening first, keeping commitments, and extending trust. There are “counterfeit” versions of these behaviors which resemble the trust-building behavior, but they get distorted into something that tears down trust.

This week: Extend Trust

Demonstrate your own willingness to trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned it, and extend trust conditionally to those who are still earning your trust. Learn how to appropriately extend Smart Trust to others once you’ve examined the situation, risk, and credibility of those involved. Don’t withhold trust just because there is risk involved.

The opposite of Extending Trust is to withhold it. Whereas withholding trust can be rare, a common “counterfeit” is Faking trust, or false trust. False trust gives people the task assignment, but not the authority or resources. Fake trust is saying you trust someone, and then micromanaging and constantly watching.

False trust is a huge factor in employee engagement. We all know people who left their job frustrated by increased tasks and responsibility without the actual authority or resources to pull it off.

What to do instead?

Say things like this to yourself:

  • What does this situation require?
  • What are the risks?
  • How do I feel about trusting this person?
  • Do they have the character and competence for it?

Say things like this to others – and mean it:

  • I believe in you.
  • I know you can do this.
  • Your track record gives me confidence.
  • You have my support.
  • You can talk to me about this anytime.
  • I’m concerned about…
  • We’re depending on you.

Let yourself lean in. Extend Trust to build trust.

In two weeks: Moving on and solving problems – what if people don’t trust you yet?

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

See more blog posts on The Speed of Trust.

#1: Leaders Invest in Trust
#2: Credibility Gaps: Leaders Know the Waves of Trust
#3: Behavior, Credibility, and the Wrong Kinds of Trust
#4: Leaders Know Credibility is Driven by Behavior
#5: Build Trust by Talking Straight
#6: Leaders Build Trust by Demonstrating Respect
#7: Leaders Build Trust by Creating Transparency
#8: Leaders Build Trust by Righting Wrongs
#9: Leaders Build Trust by Showing Loyalty
#10: Leaders Build Trust by Delivering Results
#11: Leaders Build Trust by Getting Better
#12: Leaders Build Trust by Confronting Reality
#13: Leaders Build Trust by Clarifying Expectations
#14: Leaders Build Trust by Practicing Accountability
#15: Leaders Build Trust by Listening First
#16: Leaders Build Trust by Keeping Commitments

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