Tom came to work on time. Showed up to meetings. Did his work. Met deadlines. Took his breaks. He was dependable. Predictable. Shut his computer down with 5 minutes to spare. Left work on time, not a minute later. Didn’t create trouble. Kept his ideas to himself. Then he quit.

Have you worked with someone like Tom? A person who keeps his dissatisfaction AND his creativity to himself. A person who had great ideas to share, if only leadership created a culture of trust.

I asked over 800 working adults “What makes you trust someone and want to work with or for them?”

If you think confidence was one of the answers, you are in for a surprise. This isn’t to say confidence doesn’t matter; however, according to those over 800 people surveyed, confidence isn’t as important as one might think. In Dan Saelinger’s Harvard Business Review article “The Neuroscience of Trust”, he shares his research:

“Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.”

First question, who doesn’t want that? (reread above)

Second question, are you courageous enough to honestly evaluate what you might be doing to destroy trust?

Use this checklist of ten:

  • Focus on myself, versus those I lead
  • Expect trust before I give it
  • Isolating myself from team
  • Failure to follow-through
  • Dishonesty
  • Avoid conflict
  • Break promises
  • Focus on compliance
  • Fail to communicate
  • Assume trust

(Sources: Leading with Trust 2019 and SHRM 2018.)

So, if you want to build trust with your team, don’t worry so much about you and your confidence. Instead, focus on what you can do to build the confidence of those you lead.

To learn more about how to build trust by increasing your gravitational pull, check out G Factor: 8 Secrets to Increasing Your Gravitational Pull at Work.