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5 Proven Leadership Practices That Build a Culture of Trust

Source | LinkedIn | Tony Gambill, SPHR | Leader Development | Executive Coach | Speaker | Content Creator

It is well-documented that leaders set the direction and culture for their organizations. One of the most important aspects of being an effective leader is establishing a culture of trust. In the his HBR article, Paul Zak, shared the following research on the importance of trust within organizations.

“Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives and 40% less burnout”

This research confirms the incredible return on investment that a culture of trust brings an organization. Organizational trust is a direct reflection on how much or little an organization’s employees trust their leaders.

Establishing trust as a leader is complex because leaders need to make hard decisions and take actions that can be unpopular or perceived as negative by one or more employees. One does not have to be in a leadership role very long before being confronted with the need to push an aggressive timeline, implement a last-minute change in direction, restructure the organization, say no to a desired promotion, provide negative feedback, give a lower than expected salary increase, or lay off employees. These are just a few examples of where leaders must make tough decisions that serve the greater organizational good and can have a negative impact on how others trust them. This is the double bind that all leaders must address.

At the end of the day, leadership is about influencing others. A leader will never be capable of establishing lasting influence with their employees without building trust. Below are 5 leadership practices that help leaders build, establish and maintain trust with their followers.

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