3 Ways Leaders Can Build Trust

By Michael Nagle, PCC

People follow leaders they trust and walk away from leaders they do not trust.  Effective working relationships are built on trust which is the foundation for building cohesive leadership teams.  Without trust, team members will avoid productive debate and are less willing to hold each other accountable.

Building trust begins with our ability to be vulnerable with other people.  And there you have it, the reason it is so difficult to build trust because so many people see being vulnerable as being weak.  Yes, being vulnerable means admitting a weakness like needing help or not knowing everything, but this takes great strength and courage to do.

So, the first step for a leader who wants to build trust is to reconsider their perception of what it means to be vulnerable.

The next step is to allow yourself to open up and share more of yourself with others (remember: be strong, be vulnerable).  When people share their personal histories with one another they begin to better understand the context behind what motivates the other person’s behaviors.

A third way to build trust with others is to practice being fully present and attentive.  This means being focused in the here and now, not daydreaming or worrying about the past or future.  People know when a leader is really listening and this causes them to feel like the leader is truly interested in them, which builds trust.




Trust is an essential trait to build as a leder, and one to develop in teams.  Contact Michael today to discuss more of how you may or may not be increasing the level of trust in your organization.