Back in the days of the caveman the world was fraught with life-threatening dangers.

Fortunately nowadays we don’t need to worry about being chased by sabre-tooth tigers as we go about our daily business.

But the modern world has its own perils and while they may not be deadly per se, they can certainly be the death-knell of businesses.

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Stock market fluctuations. Technological changes. Competitor threats. Pressures that can’t be left unchecked or they’ll get out of control.

It’s at times like these that businesses rely on their people to be innovative, creative and enthusiastic, but that’s no mean feat when they feel stressed, de-motivated and disconnected.

Therefore it’s imperative that companies create a culture of trust, so even when the going gets tough there’s a feeling of unity and a shared commitment to making the business thrive.

That task has become trickier than ever thanks to our new normal of working at home and dealing with one another remotely.

Practically speaking, technology has allowed us to be more connected than ever, with video calls being the perfect example. But they’re no match for face-to-face contact when it comes to connecting on an emotional level, because there’s very little direct eye contact.

And that’s the problem. You lose out on this crucial but simple building block for creating meaningful connection through trust and respect.

That lack of connection also makes it harder to pick up cues about levels of engagement and interest.

But the reality is we need to accept this will be our new way of working for quite some time, so right now leaders need to pull out all the stops to build trust in other ways. They need to make their people feel safe and connect with them on a human level.

The thing is, it’s not rocket science.

Essentially as a leader you just need to make sure your people are okay and let them know you care about them.

Try and understand their personal situations, what they need and how you can help.

I spoke recently to a friend who works for an international fashion house and was furloughed. When a senior director called her at home, she was all set to reassure him how committed she was to the business and was undertaking more training and volunteering locally.

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But that wasn’t why he’d called – he simply wanted to connect, share information about himself and invite my friend to do the same. And for her, that interest in creating a personal bond meant more to her than any textbook work-chat.

Unfortunately, some bosses think being professional means being an enigma. Don’t give anything away, don’t discuss your personal life and for goodness sake don’t show a chink in your armour or display any emotion.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Vulnerability from a leader is key to building trust and opening up about the odd struggle makes you so much more human, and easy to relate to.

Don’t just take my word for it – check out a superb TED talk from renowned author and social scientist Brené Brown who was a self-confessed hater of vulnerability. In her funny, honest and touching talk she discusses her struggle to accept vulnerability and the important role it plays in our lives. And why it is a show of strength and courage, not weakness.

Whatever your job, as you look to the people around you, I’ll leave you with the very wise words of American poet, singer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

Laura Gordon is a CEO coach and group chair with Vistage International, a global leadership development network for CEOs.