Yes, But Can They Trust You? (Part 1 of 3)

As a leader in today’s widely dispersed work around the globe and around the clock, you must align people, processes, and projects to help achieve your organization’s goals and objectives.  Yet, simply announcing the financial and operational targets is insufficient.  Do you find yourself asking a question like:

  • How can I gain greater commitment from my team members?

Earning your team’s trust is one critical factor to aligning your team and driving for results. One of my colleagues, Dr. Roger Mayer, at North Carolina State University‘s Poole College of Management, has focused his research on growing trust within organizations.  He’s found three key trust factors (ability, benevolence, and integrity) that can increase your organizational velocity and improve bottom-line results.  I’ll outline these three factors in this and the following two posts.

Factor 1: Ability: Ability focuses on one’s critical job-related skills.  As you start your career, these are your technical skills (degrees, patents, articles, or industry certifications). Yet, if you focus solely upon growing and maintaining your technical skills as you lead others, you will derail.

You’ve seen technically brilliant individuals derail when they have to lead others on a team to achieve an objective. One of the reasons they don’t engender trust is that they view each interchange or discussion as a contest to show others that their idea is technically superior to anybody else’s. By focusing on “winning” each interchange, the leader gets the well-deserved reputation as one who cannot be trusted. You must shift from purely technical to a blend of technical and interpersonal abilities.

The higher you go in the organization, you must develop other skills as well. This is difficult for many of us. We were promoted because of our technical skills. One fundamental lesson to remember is that we need to shift more from the answer provider to the questioner.  You have a perspective and a point of view. You may want to consider a previous post on the kinds of questions you might want to ask.