Trust is at the core of all relationships. It can take years to build trust and only a fraction of a second to destroy it. Maintaining trust in the face of tough business or personal circumstances can be extremely difficult. Too often, as leaders we succumb to behaviors that destroy what we seek to preserve.
The Slow Leadership blog has one of the best articles I have read recently. I won’t repeat it here, but I have copied their list of 30 leadership behaviors that create mistrust. Make sure you read their article!
1. As leader, you fail to keep your promises, violate agreements and ignore commitments.
2. You look after yourself first and others only when it is convenient.
3. You micromanage and resist delegating.
4. You demonstrate inconsistency between what you say and how you behave.
5. You fail to share critical information with your team and your colleagues.
6. You choose to not tell the truth.
7. You resort to blaming and scapegoating others rather than own up to your mistakes.
8. You judge and criticize rather than offer constructive feedback.
9. You betray confidences, gossip and talk about others behind their backs.
10. You choose to not allow others to contribute or make decisions.
11. You downplay others’ talents, knowledge and skills.
12. You refuse to support others with their professional development.
13. You resist creating shared values, expectations and intentions in favor of your pursuing own agenda.
14. You refuse to compromise and foster win-lose arguments.
15. You constantly remind everyone of your status and make it clear that you will not be questioned or criticized without inflicting punishment in return.
16. You refuse to be held accountable by your colleagues or subordinates.
17. You resist accepting your vulnerability, hide your weaknesses and won’t admit you find anything a challenge.
18. You practice sarcasm and put-down humor and rationalize off-putting remarks as “good for the group”.
19. You fail to admit you need support and prefer to mess up rather than ask anyone for help.
20. You take others’ suggestions and critiques as personal attacks.
21. You fail to encourage openness in team meetings and allow others to avoid contributing constructively.
22. You refuse to consider the idea of constructive conflict. In fact, you usually avoid conflict at all costs.
23. You consistently hijack team meetings and move them to your personal agenda.
24. You either ignore or fail to follow through on decisions agreed at team meetings.
25. You secretly engage in back-door negotiations with favored team members to create cliques and political alliances.
26. You refuse to give others the benefit of the doubt.
27. You judge people without allowing them to explain their position or actions and won’t reverse incorrect decisions.
28. You refuse to apologize for mistakes or misunderstandings.
29. You use your position to indulge in inappropriate behavior.
30. When things go wrong, your first response always to defend yourself and protect your reputation.