Heartfelt Leaders know that when it comes to sustainable relationships, there is only one currency everybody accepts – trust.

Why is that?

Without trust, people feel insecure and unsafe, and they may respond to even the most normal activities with suspicion. Although we have control over some aspects of trust, other components of trust are unconscious and are based on things in our past that have nothing to do with our current relationships. A typical example is the following: Your mother might have forgotten to pick you up at school and that left you fearful of being abandoned, so when someone is late, you automatically assume the worst and it is difficult for your partner to break through your barriers to rebuild the trust broken by your mom’s inattentiveness.

Heartfelt Leaders are constantly building trust…

Heartfelt Leaders not only know how important trust is in any relationship, be it business, friendship, in a sports team or intimate. They are also aware how it feels for someone when trust is in place. They have made it a habit for them to make everybody feel safe and secure in their proximity.

Heartfelt Leaders also know that creating expectations is one thing, but (over-)achieving them is another. They never make promises lightly and they are always aware that whatever they do either adds to or subtracts from their trust account they have with someone.

…even when making a mistake

Heartfelt Leaders are human beings and as such they are not perfect, which means that they also make mistakes. Whenever they make a mistake which involves someone else, they admit their mistake before the affected person finds out. They apologize and take responsibility for what they did and they are sincere enough to ask for help. For instance, they ask the person who was impacted by their wrong-doing to act as their accountability partner, helping them to stay on track. This makes both persons feel good – one for helping and the other one for improving.

What you are grateful for expands

Heartfelt Leaders are grateful for the trust they have in others and also for the trust others have in them. They not only appreciate this trust but show their appreciation for it. They let their partners know in innumerable ways how much they value this precious gift. They handle it with care, nourish it with love and passion and they never take it for granted. They are willing to work, yes, even fight for it. They show their partners that they can rely on them and that under no circumstances they will ever let them down.

The nine “C” of compelling trust

Heartfelt Leader celebrate all successes – the ones of their team members as well as their own. They reward the behavior they want to see more of because they know: practice makes permanent.

People trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Heartfelt Leaders are clear about their vision, mission, purpose, expectations, and daily priorities. When a leader clearly communicates his expectations it’s much easier to follow him. Then everyone in the team can be productive, effective and most importantly happy.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Heartfelt Leaders think beyond themselves, and never underestimate the power of compliment, a warmhearted touch or just a smile. They are interested in their people and never try to be interesting for their own sake. “Do better unto others as they can do unto you” is their credo and they love it.

Jim Rohn said: “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” This is what Heartfelt Leaders are striving for. They do what’s right and not what’s easy. They learn and grow every day.

Heartfelt Leaders not only deliver on their promise, whenever they can they overachieve it. They know how important it is to manifest the desired outcome. There’s no faster way to build trust than by delivering results. As much as compassion and character are needed, without the results you promised, people will hardly trust you.  By contributing to the team you build trust with them.

People love to follow the ones who are competent and therefore confident. Heartfelt Leaders lead with competence and confidence. They either win or learn and with this attitude they demonstrate their team members humbleness and willingness to learn. They never say: “I know that.” They are present with their team and ready to learn new ways all the time.

Heartfelt Leaders are genuinely interested in others. They establish connections by going to the other person’s world first. They take time to ask a lot of questions and find out everything about their team, so that they can serve them best. They express their gratitude for being able to rely on their team members and their strengths. They openly admit that they are not the best in everything and they encourage others to demonstrate what they are good at.

Commitments are easy to make but hard to keep and Heartfelt Leaders are fully aware of that. They know that it is imperative as a leader to stand in the heat and lead the team through any adversity. They never give up on others or abandon them nor do they sacrifice their values to get an easy way out. They are willing to loose a battle so that they can win the war.

Heartfelt Leaders know that it is not the giant leaps you make from time to time, but the little steps you make every day which sum up to a great result. They know about the compound effect and they are willing to do small extra work every day so that they can harvest big when the right time has come.

For more information about how we build trust read Christopher Bergland’s article “The Neuroscience of Trust” in PsychologyToday.

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Erhard Ruettimann is Peak Performance Coach│Neurostrategist │iMA Practitioner│Public Speaker│Strategic Advisor│Opinion Leader│ Technology Expert│Quality Maniac│Lifelong Learner

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