November 15, 2023

A Leadership Hack to Earn Trust

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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With all of the leadership development resources out there, it can be easy to overlook the simple things you can do that make a big difference in the respect and trust your colleagues have of you.

In this episode, I’m sharing a hack you can use to earn trust with your team quickly. I’m also sharing specific actions you can take right now, no matter what the condition of your team is, that are going to improve the trust and performance of your team. If you’re not a people leader, don’t worry – this applies to you also. When you follow the advice in this episode, you will quickly stand out and advance your career.

What you’ll learn:

  • How local businesses earn trust and how you can apply it to your role as a leader
  • A simple hack to earn trust quickly with your team and colleagues
  • 10 simple things you can do today that will make a positive impact with your colleagues

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Welcome to Your Worthy Career, a podcast with me, Melissa Lawrence. I’m a career and life coach with all the corporate cred and talent development and organizational psychology. I help women like you get extraordinary results by being more you, not less. I won’t just help you have a career experience worthy of you, but I will help you build your self-worth to shift what you think is possible and take the action that will create the career you’ve always wanted, whether it’s more meaningful work you’re passionate about, making more money, getting to your next level, or being more effective as a leader. We are shattering the glass ceiling here, the one that exists for women at work and the one we put on ourselves with our doubt and inner critic. Each week, you will get practical teachings grounded in neuroscience and effective career development strategies. You’ll experience deep mindset shifts and the perfect amount of woo. So you can run your career with ease rather than your career running you. You were born for more, and I’m going to help you get there with maybe a few dance parties along the way. Your up-level begins now. Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast.

How are you? This week’s episode is for the leaders out there, the leaders with direct reports, the leaders who want to direct reports, or the individual contributors out there who want to be seen as a leader or are working toward that next level. In short, this episode is for you. Over the last several months, I’ve been coaching several leaders in my standout leader incubator program and one-on-one. Now, when I coach my leaders, one thing that we work on is your leadership philosophy, which is really defining the type of leader you want to be. I actually have a podcast episode on that that you can listen to. When you know your leadership philosophy and you implement it, leadership is less stressful and it’s easier to make decisions. You also build your confidence as a leader in your ability to manage people in an effective way. Now, with all of the books and trainings out there on leadership development, it can be easy to overlook the most simple things that you can do that make a big difference for your employees and stakeholders. Now, here it is. A hack to effective leadership and earn respect and trust of others quickly is to be consistent.

I know, consistency. It’s not that sexy. You might be thinking that’s boring. But let me talk about this a little bit. Consistency earns respect. It also builds trust. Let me put this into an example outside of work. Now, if I’m traveling or just want to treat myself, I like to go to Starbucks on occasion. My favorite all-time drink is a chai tea latte with almond milk and an extra shot of Espresso. I get it hot or ice, depending on the weather. I’ve gotten the same drink at countless Starbucks throughout the country when we’re traveling or just near my house. The drink is not always consistent. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes they put too much milk in it and it tastes like a warm, spiced milk, which is gross, not really my vibe. Sometimes it doesn’t have enough of the chai spice, but when they get it right, it is so good. There are two Starbucks in my city that I have gone to several times and they always get it right. I will actually drive out of my way to go to those two Starbucks to get it if I’m going to do it because Starbucks is pricey.

If I’m going to drop $7 or $8 for a coffee, I want it to be one that is actually the way that I like to drink it. I’d rather drive a little farther to go to the place that I know is going to make my coffee the way that I like it. Now, you’re learning so much about me, aren’t you? But anyway, the point of this is that these two Starbucks locations have built my trust. I trust they will make my coffee right and that I will get it the way that I want it, that I will take a sip and have that, This is so good feeling. Okay, now here’s another example. I have a similar relationship with the place I get my nails done. I had a woman named Mary that I went to for years and years. She was fantastic. She went on to bigger and better things. I never found someone who did my nails as well as where they looked good, but it was also just like a pleasant experience. The quality was good. It was clean and nice and they didn’t make my fingers bleed, you know what I’m talking about?

I tried a lot of different places to find a replacement. The place that I eventually found is in a whole other town away from me, and it’s about 20 minutes away. Even though there are nail salons all over the place, there’s one half a mile for me that I could walk to, I will joke with this place that I go to now that I drive for nails because I will drive to have that experience. I will go out of my way. They do a great job. The polish doesn’t chip or peel off, and it’s just such a nice experience. They have earned my trust, so I will drive out of my way to go there over other places that are more convenient or even less expensive. Now, let’s look at this from the management lens. As a manager, you have a ton of daily interactions with others that tell them what to expect from you. If you attend meetings on time, that sends a message. If you’re always running from meeting to meeting and always playing mad catch up game because other meetings go over, that sends a message. If you’re present and engaged during meetings, that is giving a message.

If you’re multitasking on your phone or checking your email or saying, Can I just have five minutes to look this up really quick? That is also sending a very different message. If you’re prepared, so if you had pre-work and you did it, or your employee asked you to think about something before your next meeting and you actually did that, that is sending them a message. I say this not to say that you can’t ever make a mistake. You can’t ever have an off or a bad day or that you need to be perfect. That’s not true at all. What I suggest, though, is that you pay attention to what are the things that you are consistent with and that you do. And do you like that list? Do you think that what you’re consistent with is sending the message that you want to send to your team, employees, to your stakeholders, to the people around you? Because like me and my coffee and nails, people will change jobs. They will go out of their way if they aren’t enjoying their experience with you. I’ve seen so many people like their job and even like their company, but their boss blows off their one-on-one sometimes and isn’t reliable.

That person will start looking for another job because they get so frustrated. They’re not getting what they need and they’re not enjoying that relationship. It’s not productive. So being consistent with the regular, mundane things that matter way more are going to get you a bigger return. It’s way more important and has a much bigger positive impact than taking your team bowling or throwing a pizza party or giving them a spot award. Those things are nice, but they don’t make up for a boss or a leader who isn’t reliable and consistent. Now, I’m going to share with you some things that you can do that are going to give you a huge return, the things that I would suggest you do consistently and so you can gap assess yourself against this list. You can also share this with your boss. If your boss isn’t doing some of these things, you can manage up, you can share it with them, and you can share with them how the inconsistency has impacted you or your direct report. Here are 10 everyday things to be consistent with that are going to give you a huge return. One is to hold and prioritize one on ones at a consistent interval.

Of course, they can be rescheduled from time to time if you have a conflict, but have your weekly or biweekly or monthly, whatever that interval is, have it set, have it scheduled, and hold it consistently and prioritize it. Don’t cancel it last minute, don’t no-show, don’t just decide that they can see you whenever that there is a bigger priority that they’ll understand. Really hold and prioritize that one-on-one. If you need to move it, give advanced notice the same way that you would want someone to do with you. Number two is to show up on time for meetings. Think about how your role modeling behavior to other people. If you want your team to show up to their stakeholder meetings and to your meetings on time, you need to give them that same courtesy, so show up on time. Number three, be present and engaged during your team and one-on-one meetings. Give the impression that you want to be there, even if it’s a bad day, even if it’s hard. I understand that that can happen sometimes, but be present and show, look at your tone, the way that you’re holding your body language, the way that you’re behaving in that meeting.

Are you present or are you multitasking? Look at how you can behave in that meeting, that sending a message to your team that you want to be there and that you care about them and that you care about what they need from you and that you’re there to support them. Number four, be clear on expectations and hold each person equally accountable. That is a really important one. When you have your leadership philosophy, that can really help you with that. Number five, share honest feedback timely. I also have some podcast episodes on giving and receiving feedback. You definitely want to share honest feedback timely. Don’t wait until it’s a performance review or something where they’re going to be blindsided. Make sure that you’re honest and it’s always in the best interest of the employee. Number six, if you say you’ll do it, do it. It’s like the safety culture is if you see something, say something. It’s like if you say you’ll do it, then do it. Be someone that can be trusted and relied upon to follow through with what they say. Number seven, assume your employees are brilliant and treat them that way. When you’re interacting with them, don’t assume you know better.

Don’t assume that they got it wrong. Assume that what they’re speaking to is brilliant, that it’s a great idea because to them, what they’re offering to you, they’re speaking up. Anything that they share with you is a gift. Anything that they choose to offer as far as an idea or a suggestion for improvement, process improvement, sharing feedback with you and how you can lead them better, all of that really is a gift. Just assume that your employees are brilliant and that they have your best interests just the way that you do theirs. Number eight, listen more and talk less. Number nine, treat your employees like humans first and subordinates second. Number 10, don’t talk poorly about others in your one on ones. Now, a little note about number 10, I have actually had managers do this with me before, and it can be a very negative experience for the employee, and here’s why. When managers do this, I believe it’s in good nature. It is because they’re connecting with the employee because they might like the employee, they feel like they can confide in the employee. Maybe it’s a way to be relatable to the employee when they’re talking negatively about others or talking negatively about the company.

It’s a very human response to behave this way. However, as a manager, you have to hold yourself to a higher standard. At first, when I had a manager doing this with me, I felt honored that I was trusted with that information. But then over time, I started to wonder if they’re talking about other people to me, are they talking about me to other people? This person we learned over time, this manager was actually talking about everyone to everyone. But I just would caution you to really think about your role as a manager and to define how close you want to be with your direct report. It’s not always appropriate to have the same level of friendly relationship or confidentiality that you would if you were friends, which can be more difficult, especially if you rise up to a management position from a peer. But this is something we just really take seriously is you’re in a different role, you have different expectations. There is a higher standard for you as a leader. I would think about that before you talk poorly about others. I’ve had so many conversation with clients who just struggle with their bosses because they’re not doing just one or two of these things.

So of these 10 things, these are things that, in general, is going to earn a lot of respect for you. It’s going to earn trust for and it’s going to make your employees want to work for you when you can do these things consistently and your employees can rely on you to follow through on these things. It’s okay to be working toward this list. So when you can confidently say you do all of these things, you’re going to see the trust and performance within your team skyrocket. Your teams will be more comfortable coming to you. They will be more loyal to you. They will ask more questions of you, which is going to help with transition and transparency and performance in your team. Problems will be avoided. They will be more engaged and work will be positively impacted, which is going to make your job so much easier. Because think of it, if your boss wasn’t doing these things, it would be so frustrating for you too. If you couldn’t rely on your boss to come to meetings, if you were always the last priority, if your boss was talking crap to you about your peer, those things can really start to weigh on your experience.

If you don’t have a team, you can still use this list. This will demonstrate your own leadership presence. These are things that you can start to practice and show up to show the people around you that you have what it takes to be a leader and to stand out among the crowd. When you do these 10 things, you’re going to stand out in the very best way. Like I said, you’re going to be identified as someone with strong leadership potential no matter where you’re starting from. It can advance your career very quickly. All right, so go into this week, be more consistent in these areas, and see what happens. Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you soon. The episode is over, but your next level is just beginning. If you’re ready to have the career that you really want, I invite you to schedule a coaching consultation to work with me where you will identify a career path to your next step, build your confidence to tackle any career challenge, make more money and work and stress less with my proven process. Head over to to get started.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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