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EI In Leadership-Part 1: Build Trust

EI in leadership-Part 1: Build Trust

According to Harvard Business Review, the 3 must do’s for managers are: build trust, build a team and build a network. Each of these requires good EQ or emotional quotient. This makes sense, but exactly how does one go about building trust? How does a manager build an effective team? This blog series focuses on how to accomplish these feats, beginning with trust.

Leaders must gain the confidence of their team members and then work to build trust within the team. Doing so aides in collaboration and the free flow of communication. Without trust, leaders do not have the influence they need to keep the team moving. Communication quickly breaks down which impacts collaboration and productivity. Here’s what you can do to build trust:

Know your people

Each member of your team has a diverse set of experiences, values and driving forces. Team members may respond differently to feedback and may even appreciate being rewarded in varying ways. It’s important to take the time to get to know each member of the team as an individual as well as a team collaborator. Be sensitive what makes individuals unique and seek ways to leverage that uniqueness to further the team. This will help you speak to what moves them and build trust at the same time.

Frequent, honest, communication

Leaders, managers especially, have a responsibility to be a conduit between their teams and the senior leaders in the organization. Don’t let messages and updates slip through the cracks! Be sure to share valuable information. When information is not shared-people will fill in the blanks themselves.

Leaders are also responsible for creating an environment in which effective communication can occur. This means setting the example with frequent, open communication. Don’t just broadcast-invite others to share their thoughts. Check in with your team members regularly. Knowing that you are available and interested creates a comfort level that makes information easier to share.


The ability to set your own emotions and bias aside and open yourself up to the way someone else is experiencing a situation is invaluable in building trust.

Start by being others focused. Listen to your team and your colleagues. Be receptive to the things that are important to others. Often, you can pick up on this by the kinds of things the person has in their office. Are there lots of family photos or certificates of accomplishment on display? Take a moment to notice and to ask questions about these things.

In cases where it’s harder to relate, build empathy by starting with what you have in common.

Stay tuned for tips on building teams and building networks. Interested in learning more about leveraging emotional intelligence in leadership? Contact our experts at Pathfinder Strategies! or by phone at 888-529-0240.

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