Posted in leadership

Building Personal Trust


Leadership has to have a presence. If you don’t know what to do, don’t withdraw. Let it be known that you are aware of the situation and you’ll keep everyone informed as events unfold and decisions are made. Building personal trust does not mean that you are totally in sync with the other personal work style. What matters is that you are treating your employees fairly and that you are managing with integrity.

Five stages of building personal trust:

  1. Engaging
  2. Listening [be patient, behave like you are listening to them, allow them to tell the story in their own words, don’t use stock phrases (such as I feel your pain)]
  3. Framing (summarize what you’ve heard with your own perspective and insights)
  4. Envisioning (paint a picture of the future that is optimistic and realistic)
  5. Committing (agree to pursue an desired outcome)

You can have personal trust without having organizational trust, and you can have organizational trust without having personal trust. However, every leader should find reliable ways of communicating, and that communication should be straight forward. Don’t be surprised that the things you say – even the most innocuous statements – can be given deep, sinister meanings. People are going to hold you accountable for what they perceive you to have said, which may not be what you thought you said, for a longer period of time than you think. Think through as many possible interpretations as you can of what you say, then communicate often.

Major Calibrations

  1. Calibrate your time – set an agenda, don’t forget personal time and time for some exercise); If you are in a meeting and it is going long, either stop the meeting and reschedule it, or call the next meeting and reschedule it. Don’t try to finish your first one with excessive speed. It will only create sloppy speech, misguided cues, poor listening, and trust erosion.
  2. Calibrate your authority and personal involvement – you cannot oversee everything in your organization; map out your universe, think about what you can do, then find or cultivate other people to do the rest
  3. Calibrate your performance and personal standards – there are only 24 hours in a day, you’ve got to do the best you can with what you’ve got and then move on

Leaving a legacy

There are many ways to leave a legacy: Problem solving skills, People skills, and Communication skills. What will be yours? How are you preparing it?

  1. One small thing will get your started
  2. Acknowledge unfinished business
  3. Acknowledge unresolved relationships
  4. Be as purposeful as possible, don’t be in a hurry
  5. Give words of encouragement to those you believe in, have fostered, or have mentored
  6. Reflect on what you did and didn’t accomplish during your time
  7. Keep the channel open, at least for a little while

CITE: The Trusted By Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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