Leader’s Guide to Establishing Trust
A foundation of trust has been proven essential throughout history for achieving success in challenging environments, similar to those faced today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Trust is the willingness to become vulnerable based on the expectation of positive outcomes, which the American people must do on a daily basis for the leaders of DHS to protect our borders and people against terrorism and other threats.
Leaders at all levels of an organization, both in Government and industry, rely on this vulnerability to effectively deliver these results. While good leaders exhibit certain qualities and behaviors that engender trust in others, emerging research suggests that trust within organizations is often lacking.
I have created the following model for building and maintaining trust in the workplace. This model helps leaders at all levels within the Government, along with their industry partners, establish trust and contribute to organizational and mission success by improving employee performance, satisfaction, and knowledge sharing. Together, through trust, we can build a safer and more secure nation for current and future generations.
QUALITIES that leaders exhibit to establish trusted relationships:
- Competence: People must feel confident in your ability and expertise
- Compassion: People need to know that you empathize with their individual issues and situations, and that you share concern for the well-being of others, including the organization
- Integrity: People must see that you operate honestly and according to moral standards
BEHAVIORS that leaders exhibit to inspire trust:
- Ethical: Adhere to moral principles in decision-making and actions, instilling confidence in followers that you will behave in their best interest
- Consistent: Follow through with stated and implied intentions, while being reliable to those who you are accountable to
- Transparent: Be visible and engage with your employees through effective, unambiguous communication