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Are You Trusted as Much as You Think You Are?

By Perry Holley | October 19, 2022
Are You Trusted as Much as You Think You Are?

According to author and researcher Dr. Joseph Folkman[1], over 45% of leaders overestimate how much they are trusted. Furthermore, if you are perceived to have less trust with the people you work with, it can impact your overall effectiveness as a leader. People will question your integrity, your expertise, and your communication.


As Stephen M. R. Covey stated in The Speed of Trust, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust—distrust—is suspicion. “The serious practical impact of the economics of trust is that in many relationships, in many interactions, we are paying a hidden low-trust tax right off the top—and we don’t even know it!”[2]


John Maxwell says, “Credibility is a leader’s currency. With it, they are solvent; without it, they are bankrupt.” What determines your credibility with the people you lead? Credibility is the combination of your character, your competence, and your courage.


When it comes to character, answer the following question about yourself:

1. Do you exhibit integrity and honesty in everything you do? 

2. Do you live consistently with your values and convictions?

3. Do you hold yourself accountable?

4. Do you act in the best interests of others?


When it comes to competence, answer the following questions about yourself:

1. Do you invest in developing your talents and strengths?

2. Do you exhibit skills, knowledge, and abilities in your area of expertise?

3. Do you get results?


When it comes to courage, answer the following questions about yourself:

1. Do you stand up for your values and convictions?

2. Do you have the confidence to take tough stances?

3. Do you step up to conflicts?


Based on the answers to the questions above, What A-Actions do you need to take? What C-Change do you need to make? And what do you need to T-Teach to someone else, perhaps on your team or in your home?

If you want to increase the level of trust you have with the people on your team, look closely at your character, your competence, and your courage. Trust changes the way people respond to a leader. It identifies and validates a leader’s motivation for all other behaviors. Trust also tells the employee whether their boss is acting out of self-interest. You really want to ensure you are trusted as much as you think.

[1] The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust Dr. Joseph Folkman

[2] The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything, Stephen M.R. Covey

About Perry Holley

Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership, as well as a published author. As co-host of the Maxwell Leadership Executive Leadership Podcast, he has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.

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