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April 29, 2014

Se7en Deadly Sins Blog Post Series: Sin #2 Hypocrisy

 sin 2

More than 65 percent of employees rate their level of trust in their leaders as moderate at best.  According to the 2013 Global Leadership Pulse Survey conducted by Forum. 1

There is a crisis of trust in business today. You can’t turn on the TV or read a newspaper without seeing how one leader or another has let his or her integrity—or at least good decision making—slip. These glaring examples of dishonesty may be the extreme, but many leaders compromise trust every day with small sins of Hypocrisy. Nobody wants to be called a hypocrite. But if you’re preaching one thing and practicing another, you may be committing this far-too-common sin.

Most leaders don’t mean to be hypocritical.  It’s just that they often don’t see that their own behaviors or words are at odds with the very expectations they have for their employees. But if you’re telling your team one thing, while doing another, not only is your message unlikely to sink in, but you may even engender distrust and hostility among your employees.

There’s no better way to connect with employees to build the trust than by being honest and consistent in your communication and actions.

Building Trust That Lasts

When people trust you, your ability to persuade them increases tenfold.  Here are tried-and- true strategies that work to build trust:

• Have a “truth teller” or two around you

• Be approachable and friendly (people trust leaders they like).

• Balance the need for results with being considerate of others and their feelings.

• Instead of using your position of power, work hard to win over people.

• Ensure your words and actions match.

• Actively listen and check for understanding by paraphrasing what you’ve heard.

• Show support for your team members, even when they make mistakes.

• Be honest and tell the truth. Telling people what you think they want to hear erodes trust.

As leaders, we can’t underestimate the power of the shadow we cast and, as a consequence, our ability to influence behaviors to drive results.

What can you do to ensure you are acting in a trustworthy way?

(Driving Business Results by Building Trust. Sept. 2013. Web.)

-David Grossman



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