Top Seven Ways Leaders Can Destroy Trust

destroy trust

Are there really seven common ways leaders can destroy trust among their team-members? A key component of successful leadership is the ability to foster trust. Gregg Gregory has thoughtfully outlined seven possible “mishaps” that can destroy trust between a leader their team. The bottom line is this: successful leaders learn to trust AND earn the trust, of the people they lead.

Top Seven Ways Leaders Can Destroy Trust
by Gregg Gregory

Trust is an underlying challenge for all teams at every level of an organization. Perhaps we just want to cover our back side. Perhaps we are skeptical of others. Or perhaps it is simply our nature. Regardless, fostering trust is a key leadership development task for creating a winning culture within every team and a challenge that must be met.

Most people are trustworthy, and we are not talking about trusting a teammate to do their job. The kind of trust that can make or break a team is vulnerability trust.

Vulnerability trust means trusting your teammates with personal information about you and believing that they will not use it against you or others, now or in the future.

Leaders inherently face the challenge of building and fostering trust among employees. Here are some powerful mishaps that can destroy trust within your team.

  1. Not communicating with others – When a leader closes the proverbial door and shuts down communication, trust erodes almost immediately. The more the leader opens up on personal issues, the quicker the team trusts.
  2. Twisting the truth – when leaders twist, or try to shape, the truth to their preference rather than remaining transparent, real trust erodes rapidly.
  3. Not listening to team feedback – Many times, employees have amazing ideas and can, in fact, help the team grow. When the leader dismisses ideas from team members or, even worse, represents those ideas as their own, trust collapses. In most cases, listening and then disregarding ideas is worse than never listening in the first place
  4. Holding back information – When the leader withholds information from a single person or the team, trust fades and respect goes right along with trust, effectively eliminating any influence the leader may have previously developed.
  5. Lack of integrity – I define integrity as doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it, even when no one else is watching. When a leader behaves without integrity, trust simply vanishes.
  6. Breaking confidentially – There are three things, listed below, that a person can do when someone confides in them. From a leadership development standpoint, the first two will establish confidentially and foster trust. With the third, trust is destroyed. (a) Let it go in one ear and out the other. (b) Let it go in one ear, digest the information and say nothing. (c) Let it go in one ear and out the mouth to others.
  7. Being a micro manager – Remember that the majority of employees truly want to do a good job. When you micromanage them, they typically infer that they are not trusted, in turn, they fail to trust the leader.

Trust is only as good as the people on the team and the example and expectations of that team’s leader. Fostering trust is an ongoing effort because, even when trust is fostered among everyone, it can easily be destroyed.


Follow Gregg Gregory

A diverse, twenty-year background in real estate, mortgage banking, event planning, and production, as well as radio and television broadcasting, created a perfect story that put Gregg Gregory where he is today. Gregg works hard to ensure that different personalities can work together successfully to accomplish your organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.

For more information, call Gregg at (301) 564-0908 or visit www.teamsrock.com

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