Leadership and Trust

Trust seems to be the key trait linked with leadership. A leader cannot lead if his followers do not trust him. A leader discovers the employees’/followers problems and tries to solve them, but it is the trust that his followers hold on him which tells whether the leaders retrieve the knowledge and intellectuality required to solve the problems. Trust can be defined as an optimistic belief that others will not perform (via words, acts, or final conclusions) in an opportunistic manner.

For trust to nurture, an appropriate atmosphere is needed. This responsibility rests with the leader in an organization. The employees will show absolute trust in the leaders when they observe ideal/excellent character in them. Leaders play a crucial role in developing and maintaining trust of organizational employees. Reliability, empathy and realization of individual/personal goals assist the leaders to gain trust of the employees/followers. When the employees show trust in a leader, they are ready to be exposed to the actions of the leader- self-assured that their interests and rights will not be harmed.

The primary facets of trust are:

  • Truth/Honesty
  • Proficiency/Competency
  • Commitment
  • Reliability
  • Sincerity/Openness

A leader should keep his followers informed, be fair and objective, share his feelings, be honest, allow the followers to constantly direct their decisions, maintain their promises, and earn respect of the followers. All this will contribute in building trust upon the leaders.

A trust-centred leadership will offset worries, apprehensions, and low-morale by developing a trustworthy environment where employees feel secure, confident and keyed up. The employees will be ready to take initiative, give suggestions, share their views, feel unhesitant to take risk and will contribute completely in such an atmosphere of trust.

Due to instability and unpredictability of organizations today, building of trust between managers as leaders and their employees is essentially required.


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