Leadership is a rare commodity in times of uncertainty and conflict. Under normal circumstances, it has been found that employees tend not to have confidence in their leaders, as indicated by Gallup’s research. Such leaders may have an opportunity to rectify their trust deficit during these pandemic-born times. How can you build trust during tough times through the kind of leadership you adopt? What is the secret of a leader’s success during such challenging times?
Predictability, resilience, compassion, transparency, and stability are traits of a strong leader.
Gaining the Trust of Employees by Demonstrating Predictability
Stability requires predictability, which is the cornerstone of trust. Leaders who can remain predictable in unpredictable times are the best.
Honesty and transparency are not the only factors contributing to predictability. As part of intelligent leadership, this translates into making practical commitments that provide employees with an environment where uncertainty is minimized wherever possible. Leadership should strive to keep communication positive, but it does not mean that you should shy away from confronting unpleasant topics like laying off employees or reducing wage levels if you are forced to do so.
A Sense of Trust and Compassion
We have mentioned that compassion enhances the ability of leaders to communicate with their hearts as well as their minds.
To build relationships and communication, compassion is an essential aspect of emotional intelligence. About 70% of our perception is emotion-driven. A leader who conveys compassion builds trust and can therefore not afford to ignore this avenue.
Regardless of what type of organization you lead, as a leader, you must understand the difference between communicating compassion and practicing it through your own actions. Being always seen as compassionate without ever putting into action what you are saying can have a negative and offensive effect.
Leaders Should be Mature, Resilient, and Trustworthy
Leading by example is the mark of an intelligent leader. There is much importance placed on what you say, what you do, and how you say it. Stability and predictability cannot be communicated credibly if you are lost in a crisis.
It is through positive experiences in leadership and paired with positive thinking that a person becomes resilient. This even includes recognizing adversity as a source of opportunities rather than a threat. The level of leadership maturity I have described in my books falls squarely within this scope.
An organization’s leader can play an important role in creating a sense of true stability and predictability among all its employees. Thus, the presence of the manager presents a sense of security to employees thereby reinforcing trust between them and the manager.
Take good care of yourself and make sure you’re physically and psychologically fit to keep this essential leadership ability in shape. Leadership comes from being self-aware, aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and therefore recognizing when assistance is needed and when one needs to broaden one’s view.
It is also essential that you remain well-informed in order to be a successful leader. A high-level leader can risk being isolated from the problems that are afflicting the lower ranks of his organization. In order to begin solving the problem, you should first be aware of the details before proceeding.
The psychological and practical aspects of stability can be divided into two categories. In order for an organization to be stable, it must provide its employees with the transportation, materials, and tools they need to do their jobs.
The purpose of psychological stability is to create psychological safety through predictability, transparency, and a sense of purpose, even under the most adverse circumstances.
Your reports require hope, perhaps more than anything else. Motivation and commitment are sparked by hope. When times are tough, this is the most precious resource and the intelligent leader’s foremost ally.
Want to know how leadership development works or sharpens your leadership skills? Check out the online resources available to you that describe how executive coaching can lead to new levels of success and achievement for both individuals and companies as a whole.