Last week, I outlined Dr. Roger Mayer’s work on trust. He notes that ability is one key factor of growing trust as a leader (click here for part one on ability). In his work in executive education programs at NC State’s Poole College of Management, he notes that many participants want to learn how to create a culture of innovation and trust. He notes that while ability is critical, the second of three factors on growing trust as a leader is benevolence.
According to Dr. Mayer’s research, benevolence relies upon empathy and selflessness. Empathy focuses upon the relationship between you and the other person. You have to take the time to learn about the other people on your team, their interests outside of work and what is important to them.
Selflessness focuses upon your intentions and motives. Are you perceived as a “glory hound” or one who hogs the credit for any success? Do you attempt to shift blame if there are any negative impacts on the team’s work?
How have you seen some of the best leaders with whom you’ve worked demonstrate selflessness and empathy? I look forward to your comments.