In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, earning the trust of your team is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. While technical expertise and strategic thinking are undoubtedly important, emotional intelligence has emerged as a key factor in building strong and cohesive teams. By harnessing the power of emotional intelligence, leaders can establish genuine connections, foster open communication, and cultivate an environment of trust and collaboration. In this article, we will explore how you can earn the trust and support of your team.
One method is selective vulnerability
Whilst delivering a mentoring course to an executive team, we were interrupted ten minutes into the workshop by a highly experienced director who said, ‘I just want to know how to get my mentee to tell me the truth about their failings. Not just tell me the good examples of their work. How do I do that?’. As he was a very direct individual, we were equally blunt, ‘you start by sharing some of your mistakes and failures’. This is selective vulnerability. Does it work? Caza et al (2020) found that US workers’ trust in a leader related to their perceptions of a leader’s emotional sincerity. This can be achieved through story-telling
Liz Fosslien, the author, says that we are all emotional beings. We don’t leave our feelings at the entrance to the workplace, or when we log on to MS Teams. We want to be led by authentic leaders who display humanity. At this moment the warning bells are going off – won’t we lose credibility and the respect of the team? Of course, if we launch into a never-ending random catalogue of every failure, yes, we will lose the respect of the team. This is not a therapy session.
The essence of selective vulnerability is sharing a relevant experience, to that which the team or individual is facing. Stories can include those of pain, struggle, fear or frustration, such as giving feedback to a member of staff, and it goes horribly wrong. These stories need to be supported with lessons learnt from the experience. However, there are also stories of hope, desires and wants for others. The last of these is particularly powerful.
Immerse yourself in our latest emotional intelligence whitepaper as we unravel its potential to enhance leadership effectiveness and foster trusting relationships within teams.