Default to trust. Most people’s natural inclination is to default to mistrust and demand their people prove their worth. Trust that you hired the right person for the right job, with the right talent and values, and that this professional will do their job (better even!) even if you’re not there to oversee them.
Match your words and actions. We all know that not doing what we say we will do is one of the fastest ways to erode trust, in any situation. Follow through with meaningful actions and behaviours that align with your words and show you mean what you say.
Be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to try new things, allow your people to take risks, or to have difficult conversations. Vulnerability is critical to effective, open communication and, if you live this value, you, your team and your business will reap the benefits.
Keep an open door (and an open heart) policy. Have an open door policy and follow through with it but also have an “open heart” policy. By this I mean listening to understand and not jumping immediately to solution mode. When you listen to understand, you learn how to empathize with and motivate your team, and effectively address any challenges or conflicts.
Role-model the behaviour you want to see. Don’t be a leader who believes the “rules” don’t apply to them or that you’re too senior or too experienced to work alongside your team, supporting their strategy and tactical work when necessary. Be sure to follow the same stipulations, policies or procedures you set for your team.
This is how it’s done.