Great Leaders-Build Trust And Rapport

Leadership Tips


by Connie Timpson/Instructor/The Leader’s Institute

President Barack Obama swept into the United Nations with his signature smile, and most of the world leaders smiled back. Even if you do not agree with his politics, you have to admit that his eager, open and charming smile is pretty likeable. And for most, his smile creates a sense of rapport. He has learned to use his charm and likability to lead, to nation-build. As my sage Mother once said when I was a struggling leader of a small newsroom, “Smiles open more doors than intimidation.”

What she was saying is – persuade rather than use a hammer to get people to do what needs to be done to put out a top-notch product. I was a very young woman stepping into a key position that most thought belonged to men. And I was under the illusion that young women needed to act like tough guys to be effective. Not only did I not know how to be a tough guy, I did not like myself when I tried it. Worse yet, my crew didn’t like me either!

I was devastated! So I took Mom’s advice. As soon as I let my smile out, the doors began to creak open.

I knew I had management windows to prop open and doors to take off the hinges. I stopped trying to be a manager and managed by letting my natural nurturing manager come out. I began to love my job, and get great results from my team.

As soon as I began explaining the why someone should handle a story a certain way, rather than simply making assignments, the team began to grow, individually and collectively. And so did their manager – me.

Build Trust Through Persuasion
Explain, Listen, Discuss then Decide

Explain the why – it is empowering to the employee. He or she feels respected, included, valued and an important component of the whole team. None of us likes to be told to do something without an explanation.

The why makes it more real and understandable: Don’t text While Driving, or Texting While Driving Can Kill You – because your eyes are not on the road.

Listen – There is no bigger compliment than someone listening to our thoughts and opinions. Employees who feel they are truly listened to, and their ideas considered, are happier in the work place. And managers who listen can become powerful leaders.

Colin Powell: The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

Discuss – you may walk into the meeting thinking you know what you need to do and hear something that takes your idea and builds a better one. Collaborating on ideas, and concepts goes a long way towards building trust and rapport.

Decide – After explaining, listening and discussing the issue or problem – make a decision. That is part of your job. If you explain why you made a certain decision, you will have much more trust and rapport than if you simply make the decision.

If you smile while you are explaining why you made a certain decision and why it will benefit all of you – you are very likely to blow the doors off a lot of businesses with your management style!

To learn life-altering principles of leadership and public speaking click here, The Leaders Institute and find a course nearest you. We hold seminars nation wide and are eager to help you become a powerful speaker and a dynamic and respected leader.

Connie Timpson is a keynote speaker based in Jacksonville, Florida <> . In her keynote speech, Building Confident Leaders (Motivational/Leadership) Connie uses her experience as a TV journalist, news director and trainer to help the audience understand that confident leaders are made not born. She is available for association meetings, corporate meetings and conventions, and other keynote events and breakout sessions. To book Connie for your event, call The Leader’s Institute Speakers Bureau at 1-800-872-7830.