Blanchard’s ABCD Model
Relationships are crucial in business. Of course, you may have already know that to be true. When you have strong relationships with individuals both inside and outside of your organization, you are more likely to be able to reach your goals. With that in mind, building trust is one of the best things you can do to care for your professional (and personal) relationships. When there is trust between parties, it is far more likely for those parties to work together in a productive manner.
In order to build trust in your professional world, you may wish to use Blanchard’s ABCD Model. This is a model which was designed for use by leaders within organizations. Sticking with the ABCDs outlined in this model should help any business manager or owner build the trust that is so desperately needed to be successful.
To better understand this model, we are going to walk through the ABCDs below, one point at a time.
A – Able
If there is going to be trust placed in a leader, that leader must demonstrate that he or she is capable of getting the job done. Do your employees believe in your abilities as a leader? If not, it is unlikely that the necessary amount of trust will be in place. The legitimacy of your leadership can be demonstrated in a number of ways, such as your education, past experiences, certifications, and more. When it is clear that you are able to handle your duties as a leader, you will command the attention and respect of your team right from the start.
Part of demonstrating your ability as a leader is openly acknowledging when something is outside of your area of expertise. For instance, if a project comes up that you are not familiar with, asking your team for help will go a long way in their eyes. No one knows everything, but many leaders like to pretend they know everything in an effort to maintain their position or standing. Instead of pretended, be open with your shortcomings and gain the trust of your team in the process.
B – Believable
This is one of the building blocks of trust in any kind of relationship. When you say something, those on the receiving end of the message should be able to believe it at face value. Promise a pay raise for a specific group of employees upon successful completion of a project? You better deliver. In many ways, being believable in the workplace just comes down to having integrity. If you have integrity on a basic level, those who report to you are far more likely to trust your words and actions each day.
Unfortunately, many leaders are not as believable as they should be. Some leaders are willing to say anything to reach a desired outcome, even if that means losing trust in the process. A good leader will take the long view while understanding that building trust is more important than a short-term gain. Consider the trust you build within your organization as an investment. The investment might not pay off today, but it is sure to benefit you and the organization in the end.
C – Connected
No one likes to be treated as just another employee, or as just a number within the organization. Each person in your business is their own individual with their own story, family, hobbies, challenges, and more. One of the best ways to create trust throughout your organization is to treat each of your employees as a human being rather than just a number. When you are a connected leader, you ask about the wellbeing of your employees on a regular basis, and you are genuinely interested in hearing their response.
Every business is only as strong as the people who make it run each day. Even a company with great systems in place will fall flat without excellent performance by its employees. When those employees feel connected to the leadership in a meaningful way, it is far more likely that you will receive their best effort. Yes, your teams are coming to work for the paycheck first and foremost, but they still want to feel valued in the office as a part of the team.
D – Dependable
The concept of being dependable as a leader goes right along with being believable. Do you follow through with your commitments, or are you regularly changing directions from day to day? You will not be seen as dependable if you switch paths without warning or explanation. Even if you have to make decisions on the fly as part of your job, you should always seek to explain your actions to your team members so they can see your thinking and trust your dependability.
Also, a dependable leader is one who will hold team members accountable if they fall short of their duties. Often, failing trust in a leader stems from inaction when one or more members of the team becomes a problem. For example, if one of your teams has 10 members and 2 of those employees are coming up short of expectations, you will need to take action to retain the trust of the rest of that team. A dependable leader will do what is best for the organization while also treating each individual fairly.
If you are going to lead your organization to great heights, you are going to need to have the trust of those around you. While you can’t force someone to trust you, it is possible to make that the likely outcome by following certain behaviors. Blanchard’s ABCD Model is a great way to keep trust in mind while molding your behavior as a leader in the workplace. Leaders who are able to hit on all four of the points covered in this model are likely to hold the trust of the vast majority of their staff – and that trust can go a long way toward productivity and performance. Put this model into action as soon as possible and you should notice a sudden improvement in your professional relationships.
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