Trust and respect are the foundation to any relationship. Leaders who consider others in their decisions and interactions show a high degree of empathy and tend to be trusted by their employees. When a leader considers others, they are showing compassion; they have a heart for others and treat others as they would want to be treated in similar situations.

Trust is the basis for giving and receiving feedback. Think of a time when you received feedback that was very helpful to you and you were able to create sustainable improvements in your life after taking action. The source of this feedback was most likely a person you respected, who you felt you could trust.

Reflecting on our own experiences and how we felt when receiving feedback is a method of practicing empathy. Understanding our own reactions helps us understand how others may feel in the same situation. Reflection prepares us for considering the other person as we work toward giving effective feedback. 

Our goal in giving feedback should always be positive: to provide recognition, to coach for improvement, or to support learning and career development. Feedback given in this context builds people up rather than tearing them down, and supports the continued development of trust and mutual respect on the team.
Take a moment to reflect on your relationships as a leader. Do you share a bond of trust and respect with your team? How might you improve in this area?