A HIGH TRUST LEADER is an individual who has unquestionably strong personal credibility, has the ability to model and create a place of transparency and vulnerability, and are those who are able to extend trust across the organization.
Leaders who establish cultures that develop their leaders quickly discover that one of the key ingredients that fosters leadership development is trust.
HIGH TRUST LEADERS have learned how to interact with others in ways that increase trust levels while avoiding the pitfalls that deplete trust, and hinder change. While there are numerous actions and behaviors that affect the trust levels that people maintain, Stephen M.R. Covey in his book “Speed of Trust” has identified 13 Behaviors of High Trust Leaders.
The first five behaviors are primarily character-based; the second five are primarily competence based; the last three are equal parts of both character and competence.
13 Behaviors of High Trust Leaders
1. Talks Straight: They tell the truth and demonstrate integrity
2. Demonstrates Respect – Show they genuinely care.
3. Creates Transparency They are open and authentic.
4. Rights Wrongs – They make restitution where possible.
5. Shows Loyalty – Give credit and refuse to talk negatively about others
6. Delivers Results – Establish a track record of results.
7. Gets Better – Continuously learn and improve.
8. Confronts Reality – Meet issues head on.
9. Clarifies Expectations – Discloses and reveals expectations.
10. Practices Accountability – Holds themselves accountable – Takes responsibility for good or bad results.
11. Listens First – Listen before they speak and diagnose.
12. Keep Commitments – State intentions and then do it.
13. Extends Trust – Does not withhold trust because risk is involved.
As you go through these behaviors, you may also find it valuable to consider the opposite of these 13 behaviors and how such “withdrawals” deplete trust. What’s exciting is that these 13-Behaviors of High Trust Leaders can be learned, practice and applied by any influencer, at any level, within any organization. The net result will be an increased ability to generate trust with stakeholders, helping to achieve more impactful results, and even help to accelerate change.