The Six Steps to TrustTrust is a very slippery concept to grasp. Everyone agrees it’s vital to leadership. But what are its core components? And what are the steps to building trust? If a leader in our Extraordinary Leader Development System is rated as trustworthy but wants to be ranked in the 10% of leaders on trust, how does he or she do that?

The adage “we judge ourselves by our intentions while everyone else judges us by our actions” is especially central to building trust. Leaders looking to increase trust levels often confuse their inward view of their own character or intentions with the behaviors others are seeing. Nobody can see into our heart to read our true intentions … instead, they judge our honesty, integrity, trustworthiness — and our intentions — on our actions.

Zenger Folkman analyzed 360 assessment data from 35,000 leaders to pinpoint what leaders can do to increase trust. Here are the steps that can have the biggest impact on increasing trust:

1. Build positive relationships
2. Stop competing
3. Throw others a bone
4. Be balanced
5. Track your commitments
6. Accept blame and share credit

See Joe Folkman’s recent Forbes column The Six Steps to Trust for more detail on each step. As Joe writes, “many people have been given the feedback, ‘Others do not trust you.’ Most people, hearing this, are perplexed as to what they might do to change.” He provides insightful evidence-based advice.

You can talk with Joe about this and all the other leadership development research his colleagues have compiled at Zenger Folkman’s Leadership Summit on July 29 — August 1 in Park City, Utah (30 minutes from Salt Lake City airport). Click here for details.