3 Ways to Build Personal Leadership Trust

by anne preston on February 13, 2010

personal leadership trust

Here are 3 ways to build trust as a personal leader:

1. Being Authentic and Congruent

Use a resourceful mindset.  Seeing those that you are communicating with as part of humanity (rather than a separate human being) and therefore part of you is one of the  most empowering ways to be authentic and congruent.

Do Authentic behaviours such as tell the truth.   The truth of what you are thinking, feeling and doing.

Learn to expand your emotional capacity so you can easily identify what you are feeling, and that you have language to go along with it.

2. Being Consistent and Reliable (Trustworthy)

The simple fact is that people have a their own system for how they know they trust someone.   It can be they see a behaviour and then they will trust them, It may be that they hear certain words, or hear empathy, or caring, or another value being expressed, or they may need to read something or they may indeed need to see something specific done, in order to put their trust stamp on things.

A  second factor  is the number of examples of those behaviours they need to see.  For some it’s an automatic thing. For some they need to see something consistently, for others it the behaviours have to cover a certain period of time.  The biggest amount of the population however need to see the behavior over a certain number of times (and they know the number).

Most people, if you asked them could tell you exactly what convinces them and how long they need to be convinced they trust you.   It’s not often asked or talked about though.

Creating and maintaining trust in personal leadership is really no different.  There is a consistency and reliability needed in this cornerstone of personal leadership.  It is the continual repeating of the act of pursuing mastery, the continual repeating of realigning to your own personal values that swells your own trust in yourself as a personal leader.   It is also in doing resourceful behaviours with repetition and reliability that others will trust in your authenticity.

3. Being Capable and Competent in Communication Skills and other Key Skills

Another component in building personal leadership trust in yourself is building your own competence and capacity in what ever you choose to do.  The pursuit of mastery in something important you – as the byproduct of building your competence.  From the perspective of those you lead – they will trust you when they are convinced of your competence.

In terms of communication,  key communication skills.  Take curiosity for example….yet – not curiosity on how to fix, control, or change something- but rather being curious to discover what you can learn about in the moment.  You might learn about another persons emotions and feelings, even what their personal causes are.  It is the curiosity without the agenda behind it that makes someone an inspiring leader.  Another skill to master is Clear communication.   Communicating clearly means you clarify assumptions, you are authentic, constructive and always in connection with those around you.  There are no egg shells laying around on the floor. No pink elephants and certainly no held back communication out of fear.

There are of course an amount of other key skills that are important for a personal leader.  Things like decision making based on accurate thinking,  creating supportive environments for yourself and those around you, and high level activities like aligning your vision to what is meaningful

In the end, the trust you desire in yourself can come from an open heart and mind, being able to see things with accurate thinking, learning the skill of acting out of clarity and knowing, and being true and consistent.

The trust you earn from others will be based on those things plus there criteria whether they need to see you or hear you behave in that consistent way.


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