Only 18% of employees trust their leaders!

Maurice Whelan, Managing Director of Unleash Potential examines the impact of this lack of trust on the customer experience

When it comes to Leadership in Contact Centres or indeed in business I have observed that people respond best and Leaders get the greatest buy in to their vision when they are their authentic selves. In a recent survey carried out in the States only 18% of employees said that they trusted their Leaders. The conclusion from some observers of the Research was that Corporate America had chosen Charisma and Image above Character and Integrity. So how do people react in organisations where there is no trust in the Leadership?

People will give you their heads, but they will never give you their hearts.

By heart I mean "Passion" for the business that is the life blood of an organisation, that "can do",  "we are all in this together" attitude. Without trust people will give you their effort, but will never give you their discretionary effort, that extra, that defining moment in a Customer Experience that Frontline Teams can give, that turns a customer into an advocate. And they will give you their time, but not necessarily their "presence". So what are the Core Characteristics of an Authentic Leader?  Well I have coined the phrase "SALTE": They need to possess and focus on SALTE.

  • SA = Self Awareness; you need to be self-aware, and be able to look objectively at your behaviour and its impact. To be able to admit that you do not have all the answers and to learn from and ensure that others learn from your mistakes in order to build a stronger business.
  • L= Listen; to actively listen to the concerns, challenges, and ideas that come from the team. There is nothing more demising to the human spirit they to feel that you have not been heard.
  • T = Trust; You need to capture the teams heart as well as their heads. The heart is that connection that we don't talk about in business but is the most impactful. You may never remember exactly what a Leader you admire said to you in the past, but you will always remember how they made you feel.
  • E = Empower; to fully and truly empower someone unleashes not only their potential but also the potential for your business, it builds confidence, and confidence and execution build profits.

So the challenge for all of us in Leadership is to be "SALTE" and continue to be our unique and powerful selves for the benefit of those we lead and for our businesses.

This post was kindly contributed by Maurice Whelan, Managing Director of Unleash Potential.  Unleash Potential is a new and dynamic Irish Company which specialises in Executive Coaching. The company also provides services in Customer Experience Consultancy, Personal Development, Psychotherapy and Conference Speaking.

Photo kindly reproduced from Linkedin