Want to be a better team leader? Become more trustworthy.

Or at least try asking your people what they want from you. Gallup did just that when Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, coauthors of Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow conducted research with 10,000 followers about their four greatest needs. What they found out surprised some people. The four biggest needs centered around trust, compassion, stability and hope.

Trust- the essential ingrediant all leaders need to have to be able to build a relationship that followers want to engage in! We recently worked with the newly appointed sales leader of a veteran team, who was having trouble getting traction with his new team. The team was mourning the departed boss and the new leader, who held his cards closer to the vest, was not letting the team into a relationship with him. A team building session coupled with a night out together broke the ice and let trust slowly begin the process of being built.

What does it take to build trust on your team and with your people?

  • Make yourself vulnerable, admit you don’t know everything
  • Ask your people what they think about how to solve something….and then really listen to their suggestion
  • Apologize, we all make mistakes, leaders who build trust do not fear making a mistake, they worry about not taking accountability
  • Recognize a job well done with specific praise, a lot of today’s leaders would rather tell their people what they could do “better next time” than catch them doing something right now
  • Keep your promise and your commitments
  • Really get to know them in a genuine way, find out what their hopes and dreams are and how their role in the organization lines up with their values

Our next blogpost will talk about one of the other needs: stability, hope and compassion and how to leverage these attributes to become a better leader, someone your people want to follow!