Instant Leadership Trust: Leaders, How to Spot It | #LeadershipDevelopment

Leaders, you might think that instant leadership trust looks the same as the deeper trust in you that employees develop over time. That is rarely true. In fact, the instant leadership trust they give you looks quite different. It is very important that you know how to spot it because your responses and behaviors matter. Here is a guide.

Instant Leadership Trust: Image is medium-size tan box that is slightly open.

Leaders, How to Spot Instant Leadership Trust. Image by JoLynne Martinez via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by JoLynne Martinez via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leaders, What Does Instant Leadership Trust Look Like

What does instant leadership trust look like? Picture a slightly open box. There are no marks on the outside to help you know what’s inside. As you open it slowly, what feelings and behaviors do you experience? Now, replace the picture of the box, with a picture of you. How do employees behave and what are they feeling?

If you’re not sure, this NIH article’s literature review on the subject of trust in leaders quotes the following: “The word (trust) originates from an anthropologic category of believing and encompasses five important parts: conviction, entrustment, hope, trust, and self-trust.”

Leaders, How to Spot It

Employees …

  1. Are curious. As you communicate a challenge the teams must meet, are they asking questions? Curiosity is a sign of initial trust. Don’t take it as lack of trust — as some leaders do.

  2. Focus on timeframes. If they are honing in on when challenges must be met, they are showing you initial conviction — not doubt.

  3. Ask how the end result affects them. Don’t see this as selfish. They want to trust themselves that their initial trust in you is appropriate.

  4. Express concerns. As you present more of the challenges you all will face, they raise issues. Instead of seeing this as lack of trust, see the hope behind what they say. And if they say, “we hope this will work,” hear the hope component of trust rather than qualms and misgivings.

  5. A Critical Moment

  6. Want to know how you will support them and their work. Your response in this moment is critical. Instead of thinking that they don’t trust you, spot their vulnerability and their hope that you will not take advantage of it.

Whether you are the new leader of the team, or new team members have joined your team, or a truly serious challenge has come to your existing team, look for the five moments noted above to see the instant leadership trust that employees are giving you.

What other moments and actions show instant leadership trust?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Leadership Trust: Are You Squandering It?
Valuable Leadership Trust: Leaders, Are You Spending Yours Wisely?

©2024 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Get more inspiration and actionable tips for high engagement results!


Buy Kate Nasser’s new book Leading Morale (


Leave a Reply

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest