“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”~George MacDonald

In the Law of Solid Ground in my 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I asserted that trust is the foundation of leadership. But that’s not all. In reality, trust is necessary in ALL good relationships. Good marriages, business relationships, and friendships all require trust. Without it, there can be no open and honest interaction, and the relationship will be only temporary.

How do you gain the trust of others?

Manchester, Inc, a consulting firm in Philadelphia, used a survey of more than 200 companies to discover the best ways for leaders to build trust with employees. They found that people who engender trust…

  • Maintain integrity.
  • Openly communicate vision and values.
  • Show respect for employees as equal partners.
  • Focus on shared goals rather than personal agendas.
  • Do the right thing regardless of personal risk.
  • Listen with an open mind.
  • Demonstrate compassion.
  • Maintain confidences.

In addition to this helpful list, I would add that a critical way to GAIN trust is to be willing to GIVE trust.

Former US Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson remarked, “The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is by trusting him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.”

Haven’t you found that to be true of yourself? We all want to be trusted. And by taking the leap of faith to trust in someone, you give them a gift that they usually want to repay.

As you strive to invest confidence in others in the same way you would like it invested in you, take comfort in the words of Camillo Benso di Cavour, who said, “The man who trusts men will make fewer mistakes than he who distrusts them.”

Adapted from Ethics 101

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