4 Ways Leaders Test for Trust In Their Team

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Trust is the currency of leadership.

Without it, you cannot generate

  • Loyalty

  • Alignment

  • Shared vision

  • Consensus

  • Momentum

In other words, trust is the “secret sauce” that enables a leader to take a group of people to a new, better destination.

So how do you know what level of trust exists between you and your team?

Try this simply four-part “trust test”.

  • The Assignment Test

Think of a time when an exciting new opportunity presented itself, and you found yourself considering allowing a member of the team to run with it. Did you hesitate? Did you second, third or fourth guess yourself before handing over the assignment?

All of those are indications of low trust.

What does high trust look like? It’s when you quickly hand the ball off and say, “Run with it!”

  • The Permission Test

If you are looking at someone on your team with lower levels of trust, there’s a good chance you require them to get permission from you, all the time. For everything.

If trust is low, you insist of granting permission for even the most menial tasks.

What does high trust look like? It’s when you can look at your team member and say, “You are pre-approved. Go for it!”

  • The Check-in test

How often do you require people on your team to “check in with you?” How often do you expect a report on progress?

In a low trust environment, such reports are expected weekly, sometimes daily.

What does high trust look like? It’s when you can say to your teammates, “Just let me know when you’re finished the job!”

  • The Set-back Test

Things will go wrong in any organization. That’s a fact of organizational life.

When trust is running low, your first reaction to a member of your team missing a goal will be reprimand. You will use the incident as an opportunity for scolding.

What does high trust look like? It’s when you look at a missed goal and say, “So, what did you learn?”

If these tests are pointing towards a low-trust environment, you need to begin rebuilding trust, and rebuilding it immediately.

Because where trust is strong, teams will thrive, and results will soar.

Trust, after all, really is the currency of leadership.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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