Being Vulnerable and Getting to Know Others Builds Trust

Before Psychological Safety, here’s what leadership authors were sharing

Sinek quote: building trust requires nothing more than telling the truth. That’s it…
Sinek quote: building trust requires nothing more than telling the truth. That’s it…
  • Crediting others for their contributions rather than taking credit unfairly.
  • Admitting when things are going wrong such as knowing that a project is behind schedule and letting others know as well as explaining why.

To become fully trusted, you must be open to and with others. This means disclosing things about yourself in order to build the basis for a relationship. This means telling others the same things you’d like to know about them — talking about your hopes and dreams, your family and friends, your interests and your pursuits.

— Kouzes and Posner

Doing so requires you to take the risk that others won’t use the information to somehow harm you. Someone has to begin risking himself or herself, and Kouzes and Posner state that those who practice leadership need to open up and be vulnerable. They need to give up controlling the relationship.

Kouzes & Posner building trust quote: willing to risk being first to open up, to show vulnerability…Leaders go first.
Kouzes & Posner building trust quote: willing to risk being first to open up, to show vulnerability…Leaders go first.

Without Trust, It Is Difficult to Maintain Relationships

Kouzes and Posner, as well as James Hunter (The Servant), write that you cannot maintain positive relationships without trust. When you don’t trust, those you work with distrust.

Getting to Know Others Builds Trust

Sinek links getting to know others with building bonds of trust. “The more familiar we are with each other, the stronger our bonds.”

  • Learned techniques and resources that can help others with their work
  • Stories of how you benefited and learned that others could also benefit from hearing

Building Trust through Your Stories

Storytelling can be powerful for letting others get to know you and contribute to building trust.

Notation

This is an excerpt from Chapter 4: Explaining 21st Century Leadership Principles and Beliefs in Nine Practices of 21st Century Leadership: A Guide for Inspiring Creativity, Innovation, and Engagement. For this format, some minor editing was necessary.

About the author

Gary is a Leadership Author, Researcher, Consultant, and Podcast Guest. His latest book, What the Heck Is Leadership and Why Should I Care?, is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. You can learn more about Gary and his other books at https://www.garyadepaul.com.

Written by

Gary is a speaker, author, researcher, and leadership futurist. https://www.garyadepaul.com

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