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"The ability to establish, grow, extend and restore trust is the key professional and personal competency of our time." – Stephen R. Covey

Having a workforce filled with employees that question your decisions and motives, are hesitant about the direction you're taking them in and are quick to engage in conflict is certainly not a healthy corporate culture.

As Ekaterina Walter pointed out in a Forbes article, there is a significant difference between managers and leaders. Just because you have workers answering to you does not mean that they necessarily follow you, so to speak. People follow leaders, Walter explained, even if they do not report to them. The level of trust and respect is what sets leaders apart from managers.

It's extremely difficult to effectively lead a group of people if those individuals don't trust you. Portraying yourself as a trustworthy person is crucial in ensuring the success of your team. Unfortunately, doing so is far easier said than done.

"Trust is what separates leaders from managers."

Perhaps this is why, according to a new Edelman Trust Barometer survey, one in three people admitted that they don't trust their employer. The study indicated that there is a disconnect between what employees feel are important factors in trusting managers and executives and how successful their leaders are in meeting the criteria.

You can't simply tell employees to trust you. Well, you could, but this likely won't be enough to guarantee that they do. However, there are steps you can take to make sure your team knows you are the type of leader they can actually trust. Below are some of the most important ones.

Make communication a two-way street: No one wants to work for someone who makes them feel like they are being kept in the dark all the time. Trustworthy leaders facilitate an environment of ongoing communication. Keep your staff in the loop and involved in what is happening on a consistent basis. This includes providing feedback and guidance, as well as making sure you recognize their achievements and hard work, rather than just talking to them when it is time for an annual review or to address an issue with their performance. But you should also ask for their feedback, as well. Show your employees that you value and respect their opinion. When you do that, it will be hard for them to not offer you the same.

Be personable: A key ingredient in establishing trust with people is making sure they can see you as an actual person, rather than just an authority figure. One of the authors of the Edelman Trust Barometer study, Christopher Hannegan, told Fast Company that not enough executives are establishing meaningful connections with their staff members. He explained that their research findings showed that it is important for employees to feel like they understand their leaders on a more personal and deeper level than the general public. In fact, the majority, or 80 percent of workers agreed that they would like to get a better understanding of their chief executive's personal values and 73 percent want to know about what kind of struggles and hurdles he or she has faced.

The best leaders are those that value integrity and trust.The best leaders are those that value integrity and establish trust.

Admit your mistakes: We're taught at a very young age that no one is perfect and this is an important lesson to keep in mind when it comes to being a trustworthy leader. Owning up to your mistakes makes you more relatable and it shows other employees that you are willing to be honest with them. In turn, this will likely make them feel more comfortable being honest with you.

Be transparent and honest: Similar to how you should be willing to admit your faults, you can also increase your trustworthiness as a leader by creating a corporate culture that is built on transparency and honesty. Leadership does not require you to never show any weakness. If the company is going through a particular challenge or there is an unfavorable event occurring that impacts the business, don't try to hide it from them. Your team will appreciate your honesty and it will make them trust you more, both in the short and long term.

"You can't be a great leader unless you're a trustworthy person."

Get in the trenches with them: As Ekatrina suggested, true leaders are willing to do whatever it is they're asking of others. If you want them to work longer hours or stay late, they should see you putting in the same amount of time. Lead by example and demonstrate solidarity. People will be more comfortable following your lead if they see that you are fighting the same battle and aren't letting your ego or superiority get the best of you.

Put simply, you can't be a truly great leader unless you are perceived as a trustworthy person. By promoting integrity, open and honest communication and genuine concern and interest for one another, you will create better workplace relationships as well as a healthier corporate culture.