Guest Article by Valerie Delforge, Founder & CEO Delforge + Co.
Leadership is a much-discussed topic. Throughout the years, I have read many books about it, attended seminars, listened to podcasts, etc. As I quickly realised that my team’s success is my success, I mainly just observed the leaders around me to understand how they built trust with their teams. It was easy to see that without each team member achieving their best and being as productive as they can be, I would fail to be a good leader for my business.
After all, as I find myself in a ‘people to people’ industry, my leadership is crucial to gain year on year results, and the trust I build within my team is key to those results. Being a leader requires skills that I believe can be taught. In fact, I have designed six key factors you to apply when you want to not only gain your team’s trust but build trust within staff as well.
Build Trust With The L.E.A.D.E.R. Principle
‘L’ Is For Lucid Vision
I say this in both my workshops and articles, but people cannot fall in love with what is in your head. They need to feel your passion, understand what you want to do with the business, and have a clear picture of where you are leading them.
If your vision is blurry, difficult to understand, unclear or worse, never talked about, your team will still follow you, but it will be without the knowledge of their destination. At one point or another, this is usually what makes them leave you. Throughout the years, I have realised that everyone wants to lead – even the team member who is just here as a part timer and doesn’t want too much trouble at work.
Ignite that sparkle of passion; try to understand why this person wanted to work in this industry in the first place. Passion breeds passion, and vision breeds goals. A crystal clear vision is simple, efficient and helps let everyone know where they stand.
‘E’ Is For Eternal Organization
I’m possibly going to be controversial with this statement, as there might be a photo somewhere of an incriminating evidence of my messy desk… however! A well-organized operation is key to build trust with your team. Now, I’m not saying that you need to be ultra-tidy at all times. Creativity comes in all sorts of ways – and mine is definitely a lot of paper everywhere! – but it’s amazing how people respond to clarity. This is why both the structure of your team and having an SOP Manual is so important.
I have often come across teams who have no idea of what the managers are doing: “They manage, have cups of teas in front of their computers…” I am often told. The clearer you are about:
- your role and your impact on the business, and
- your structure and organisation,
the more the teams will respect and value what you have to offer as a leader.
‘A’ Is For Always Sincere
Sincerity and integrity are what always win teams over. It’s as simple as that. Any glimpse of suspicion or doubt that arises in your employees’ minds will only be due to your lack of clarity in actions. Be mindful of that.
I also believe that trust building all comes down to your work ethics and honesty. Treat everyone with the same level of importance, respect their opinions, and listen to what they have to say. When you offer constructive feedback, it makes teams feel valued and listened to. Don’t be afraid to give credit to others and praise them. This will, first of all, go a long way, but it will also make your actions feel more sincere.
‘D’ Is For Doubtless Love
To be a true leader and build trust, you need to love what you do and love the people around you. Everyone is there for their own reasons, and respecting that is the first step. Loving your actions, your vision and your team is the key to building trust.
Of course, we’re all faced with challenges and difficult issues we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. When that happens, sit down, take a large piece of paper, and write down your reason why. Why did you do this in the first place, you wanted to create such a business, and why you wanted this vision. It helps you re-center your emotions and refocus. Love, passion and focus are at the heart of the trust people will place on you.
The Second ‘E’ Is For Echoing Action
Do what you say: this is the most important piece of advice I have to you. Otherwise, you will very quickly lose any respect you have tried to build. “Actions speak louder than words” is such a true statement when you want to be an effective leader.
I often have clients who tell me: “I put this in place but didn’t follow it through, so no one is doing it…” It’s no surprise. The team will test you as often as they can. Defying management and seeing how far you can push boundaries is in people’s nature, you see.
If you really want to build trust as a leader, there’s one rule you should know. If you say something, you must do it. And if you do it, you must measure the implementation and results. This is why your strategy is the key to your success. I design business strategies with my clients which they revisit every year: is it echoing the set vision? Is it coherent, and will I be able to achieve everything I have set out to do? In order to build trust within your salon, your team must see that your actions are echoing what you’re saying.
Last But Not Least, ‘R’ Is For Regular Communication
A leader must communicate with its team on a regular basis. I honestly believe that a good, functional team needs to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Communicating successes and failures will allow your team to understand that you might not have a ready-solution to every issue, but you are really trying hard to achieve your goals and are focused on reaching your destination.
Reiterate that vision all the time: live it, breathe it, and communicate it so your team will know where they stand.
In all, gaining trust as a leader isn’t easy… But the clarity of your actions (and mind!) is what will generate an impact on each and everyone on your team. And on that note, here is one of my favourite quotes:
“Respect is earned, Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.” – Auliq Ice
Thanks for reading!
Valerie Delforge is a Commercial Trainer and Coach for the Spa, Beauty and Hair industry. Valerie specialises in creating specific workshops to support managers. Founder of Delforge + Co, she is keen to support the industry in achieving its best. For a list of procedures and coaching, visit Delforge + Co. or contact email@example.com. Also, Delforge + Co is proud to announce the modules available in The London School of Beauty & Make-Up, which you can sign up for here!