The importance of trust is a trait that every person should strive to build upon, but especially if a person is going into a leadership role. Trust is when a person believes the other person is truthful, reliable and does the right thing. Building trust as a leader with followers is critical for the group that is being led. It provides the basis for all actions the leader will do to lead the group. When the leader makes a decision, if the group trusts the leader, it will be much easier for the group to follow. If there is a lack of trust, it may provide group members the thought that maybe the leader is not making a good decision for the good of the group.
Research shows how important trust is. “Trust is an efficient mechanism to improve communication efficiency and team cohesiveness” (Chen, Wu, Ma & Knight, 2011, p.220). Team cohesiveness builds teams to work at optimal levels, and improved communication efficiency helps the teams know important information at the right time. Using trust with the group members, a leader can improve both communication and team cohesiveness which improves the group as a whole. Torres and Bligh (2012) point out that trust in one’s leader has been found to be strongly associated with organizational success, job satisfaction, cooperation, and performance. Torres and Bligh (2012) continue with trust is also widely recognized as a key element of effective leadership, and features prominently in theories of both transformational and charismatic leadership.
A leader needs to take the time to build the importance of trust with their followers. Here are some tips:
• Start by doing small things that builds trust.
• Only agree to complete a task if there is commitment to get it done right and on time as it adds a bit of trust.
• Be truthful in every activity or statement, even if it is the more difficult decision.
• Admit that there was an error instead of trying to cover it up builds trust.
Many of these small activities will add up, and soon followers will trust the leader. Make the right decision to build trust with your followers. You will see a difference I have seen it from my own experiences!
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