Trust: 6 Things You Must Be To Keep It

There are people we trust and others we do not. Some are ones we may have once trusted, while others never earned that level of respect. In today’s post, I am discussing 6 Key Components of Trust and why they are vital to leaders.

Early in my career, I worked for a boss who considered himself a leader. Unfortunately, he had zero influence with me and close to zero with my co-workers. One of the main components to his lack of leadership was the lack of trust we had in him. Of the six components I list, he possessed none. He made promise after promise but failed to ever come through on his empty words.

Trust is one of those items in life that is hard to come by and easy to lose. With the right components, trust is a safer bet than the stock market. Trust is not an easy journey but these 6 behaviors can make it a little easier.

  1. Integrity

    Integrity and honesty are similar, but not the same as many people assume. Integrity and honesty are like rectangles to squares, all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. Integrity is adhering to a moral code, a set standard that does not waver.

    As a leader, your followers need to know you are not flip-flopping your stances. Strong leaders need a firm foundation to take charge. When leaders do not have a set of values they will frustrate their followers and create a culture based on that.

  2. Authentic

    The last thing anyone wants to hear is false praise. People will often see insincerity in comments. When leaders remain sincere, building a team that others respect is possible. If you come across as a hypocrite, you will lose respect and trust from your followers. Great leaders are genuine leaders.

    If you are dealing with Millennials, the importance of being authentic multiplies. Being authentic is a critical component for keeping them engaged. Since authenticity resonates with Millennials, they will not like working with fake people.

  3. Reliability

    If you were to look up reliable in the dictionary, you would find that it is something that can be trusted to be done and proven to have the same results in multiple attempts. To have influence and trust, leaders must be reliable. People they can count on to do what they say they will do and bear the weight of the followers to carry them through. Without reliability, leaders will not earn the trust of their followers, meaning there will be no respect.

  4. Loyalty

    Loyalty may be on the last traits to find these days. Far too often organizations have demanded loyal employees while not reciprocating the loyalty. The status of the workforce in the US is nowhere near what it was even twenty years ago. Employers have consistently proved their lack of loyalty by eliminating jobs, contracting out others, and lessening benefits offered, all to make a buck.

    Millennials are typically extremely loyal to their organizations, as long as they are engaged, feel to be part of the solution, and understand the whybehind the organization. If you want to attract the largest generation in the workforce, being loyal to them will be required for them to trust you enough to return the favor. Leaders today face an uphill battle in recruiting and retaining employees, especially Millennials.

  5. Competence

    If you had zero confidence in your bosses’ competence, you would most likely have a hard time trusting them to lead you. Further, any constructive criticism would be ill-received, coming from someone who is not competent in their abilities, or possibly their job in general. In many careers (public safety and military to name a couple) a lack of competence can mean poor decisions in life or death situations.

  6. Consistency

    Consistent behavior is a crucial part of a team. Having the ability to stay together and work in harmony are critical to a leader’s ability to gain the trust and thus influence over others. Additionally, consistent behavior helps to show a person’s integrity, demonstrate that they are authentic, and prove that they are reliable. Tying these items into a loyal leader with competence makes trust a real possibility.


Question: What are your thoughts on trust? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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