How to inspire trust in your team

April Sabral

/ Leadership

Trust is difficult and takes time to build – however it is very easy to destroy.

One way to build trust faster is to go out and talk to your people. Find out what they value, deliver on your commitments and encourage others to do the same.

Follow these top tips to establish open, candid, and trusting relationships and you will be on your way to building a solid team of trusting individuals. With out trust teams wither so make it a prioritie in your day or week to reflect back and ask your self what you did today to encourage building trust in your team or organization as a whole.

Build trusting relationships – Trusting relationships are established and sustained by each parties willingness to appreciate the other persons needs. People will grant you greater trust if four conditions are met.

  1. You are clear about your expectations, intentions and agenda.
  2. They believe what you say.
  3. They believe you understand their interests.
  4. They believe that you will protect their interests.

Demonstrate competence-it’s not enough to just demonstrate the above behaviours its also important to be competent at what you do. Identify what you lack and don’t overly direct those on your team that have what you don’t this will not get you any further in building trust. Have you ever worked for someone that lacks a skill or knowledge but they like to direct you what and how to do it. How does that make you feel? Does it help build a trusting relationship? Not likely.

Demonstrate trust in others – Remember that trust is mutual. If you don’t show trust in your team then they wont show it in you. So when you are enjoying your day off trust your team to hold the fort down and they will step up to the plate to show you what they can do. If you constantly call in and check on them guess what you could be eroding trust in your team by not showing you believe in their own competence.

Show real understanding of others – This is where most managers fall short. WHY? Because to have a real understanding of others its important that you listen to their needs and priorities. Understanding someones view point does not mean you have to agree but it does mean that you heard them and appreciated their feedback or opinion. Sometimes you will have to make a call and redirect your team as their priorities do not match those of the company or your own however at least let them know that you considered their priorities but as the leader needed to make a decision based on the business needs.

Demonstrate candour – Hold formal and informal discussions with your team. Share a bit about yourself and your own learnings, your passions and interests. Its great for your team to learn about the way you think and what you like. It helps them build trust in who you are as a person.

Be accessible – means be accessible

Actively avoid behaviours and actions that undermine trust – its important to remember that this is the fastest one that most employees judge. Like I said it takes time to build trust but can be broken very fast. So make sure you are not actively, talking poorly about your co workers, the leaders of your company or the priorities even if you don’t agree with them. Also ensure that your leadership style functions from a place of partnership and not posture of privilege. Any slip ups here as small as they are can and will erode any trust you have built with your people.

Support organizational alignment – Make sure that you support those that build the strategy and objectives. This sounds easy but it’s really not. Think about how many times in your head you want to ask a leader WHY and WHAT were they thinking? Now it’s ok to go and ask that person or provide feedback but it’s not ok to say that out loud to other team members. Be a professional!

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