Building Trust Builds Confidence

It has to start somewhere.

Let me tell you about one of my first jobs. I was in college and working part-time at a call center. This wasn’t intended to be a career path for me, but when I graduated, they offered me a job. That’s when I discovered I had access to some great leaders and mentors. I can tell you any number of stories about how they motivated and inspired me – but here’s one of the most important lessons I learned.

After a few months in my first leadership role, I found myself in my manager’s office for one of our weekly touchpoints. He said I was playing it too safe and that wasn’t why they hired me. Besides being a brilliant leader, he was also very observant.  And he was right.

I was nervous.  While I had full confidence in my ability to perform the role I had been given, I was afraid of making a mistake.  Of being judged.  That’s when he said something that has stuck with me ever since.

It’s About Risk

“There is only one type of leader that never makes mistakes.  It’s the leader who does nothing.”

Then he told me about the biggest mistake he ever made in his career, and how his manager worked with him to learn and grow from it. He encouraged me to take chances and not be afraid to make a mistake myself. He convinced me we would learn from any mistakes and become smarter and better for having made them.

For him to open up and share his worst work experience with me showed his vulnerability and transparency. And most importantly, it showed he wanted me to trust him as much as he trusted me. The point is you can develop loyalty by showing loyalty. That’s how you build trust. 

Think about how much time and money you could save if you create a work environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing opinions and having honest, transparent discussions!