Three key behaviours to connecting with people in a more authentic way.

Consistent organisation research studies show that a majority of employees have a trust issue with their leaders.

For example a Gallup Poll published in January 2015 identified that 51% of US workers were “not engaged” and 17.5% were “actively disengaged”. *

“The Great Place to Work Institute partners with Fortune to produce the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in which trust comprises two-thirds of the criteria, since their research shows that “trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces.” These companies beat “the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.””**

The challenge for many leaders is how can they “connect” with their people in a more meaningful and authentic way.

Honesty and integrity are at the root of any “trusting” relationship so today’s leaders need to follow three key principles

1. Be available and “present” – eyeball to eyeball conversations work better than any corporate webcasts, blogs or newsletters. You can’t build trust via an email or conference call or if you are never around.

2. Listen, Listen and Listen – too many leaders like to talk – the great ones listen.

3. Be direct and straightforward in all your dealings - even if it means giving people what they need and not what they want! Given the choice between “Respect and Liked” always go for Respect.

*Gallup Poll January 2015 based on over 80,000 people surveyed in 2014 .
** The Connection Between Employee Trust and Financial Performance by Stephen M.R. Covey and Douglas R. Conant, Harvard Business Review July 18, 2016.


Authentic Leadership

About the Author

Mark Thomas: Leading International Expert on Business Partnering

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is an international business consultant, author and speaker specialising in business planning, managing change, human resource management and executive development. Prior to working with PPI he worked for several years with Price Waterhouse in London where he advised on the business and organisational change issues arising out of strategic reviews in both private and public sector organisations.