Have we spent enough time talking about trust? You might think so, as it is a theme I frequently return to. Yet time and again, I find my clients struggling to effectively engage key partners in discussion, debate and the pursuit of mutually beneficial goals. Talented and successful though these top leaders are, they find themselves at a loss for optimally navigating the relationships needed to move their agendas forward, accelerate the decision-making process and simply get things done.

As a leader, you can never spend too much time building relationships and developing trust. Here are a few highly actionable and powerful tips for doing just that.

Liz Bywater on Leadership: Three More Tips for Building Trust


Let's begin with a basic truth: Without trust, you can't lead.

Without trust, you cannot establish or maintain positive working relationships.

Without trust, you can't engage others in your vision.

Without trust, you have no platform for influencing the thoughts and actions of your followers.

Without trust, you have no followers.

If your goal is to lead with impact, there's just no getting around it. Trust is foundational. Here are three immediately actionable and incredibly powerful steps for building that foundation.

Be open. Let the other person know something about who you are and what's important to you. Don't be afraid to share a bit of personal and family information in the interest of being open, real and accessible. It's okay to talk about your daughter's graduation, your son's new braces or even your parents' failing health. As long as you don't dominate the conversation with continual self-reference, you will find such openness goes a tremendous way in establishing a trusting connection.

Learn about the other person. Ask plenty of questions and demonstrate genuine interest. What is the other person working on? What's most important to her today, tomorrow, and a year from now? What are her greatest opportunities and challenges? What's she most proud of and where can she use some help? Look for ways to provide support, guidance or simply a safe environment for opening up.

Offer to help. Then do it. Take a vested interested in assisting the other person in ways that truly add value. Remember, there's no 'zero sum' formula when it comes to developing trust. When you provide meaningful support, you dramatically advance the bond and the relationship. So give generously and don't worry about quid pro quo. Trust me, you won't be giving up your share of the pie. Instead, you'll be creating a far bigger pie.

All the best,  


Liz Bywater, PhD 
President, Bywater Consulting Group 
Join the conversation
Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn
Quick Links
Fast Company on executive coaching
Client results
Rave reviews
Execsense Webinar: Mastering Conflict
For additional helpful tips on harnessing conflict, download our webinar today!

Want to learn more?

For additional information on how we can help you become a more effective and successful leader, or to inquire about any of our consulting or coaching services, send us an email or give us a call at 800.846.4546. 
We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, please
visit us any time!

Copyright 2015. Liz Bywater, PhD. Bywater Consulting Group, LLC. All rights reserved.