If you are a new manager or have held a management position for a while now, you know how important it is to have trust within your team. Learning techniques that will help to build trust effectively will make for more productivity and a more positive work culture. When I say to build trust within your team, I don’t mean those age-old cheesy and mostly ineffective trust-building activities. I have some real actionable tips here for you to get you on the path to a trusting relationship amongst your team.
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Tip 1: Stop Overcommitting
There is no better way to erode trust within your team, your organization, and with your boss than to over-commit and not deliver. Promising your team will do something without talking to them first about it, especially a big project, will show your team that you don’t want their input on important decisions and would instead overcommit them to something they can’t follow through on.
If you are someone who overcommits themselves and their team members, it may be totally innocent. Maybe you think you can deliver, and this is why consulting with your team is a good idea, or perhaps you feel pressured to say yes. If you are not confident you can deliver on time, it is better not to commit than to commit and not deliver.
My tip for this is when asked for a commitment on a new project, take a moment. Don’t react; ask for a chance to think it through, and do just that. Give it some thought. Three questions you can ask yourself are:
Do I have the resources?
Do I have the time?
Am I able to commit to this and deliver on time?
After taking a pause and looking at the bigger picture, you can make a better decision for yourself and your team. If you feel that committing to a whole project is too much, you can ask if the project can be broken up into chunks and commit to smaller pieces to feel less overwhelmed.
Tip 2: Apologize quickly
Apologizing when you do something wrong is a crucial component of building trust. When you don’t apologize, what tends to happen is you start to lie, deny, and create counter-accusations. Which is an excellent way to destroy any trust that has already been built.
There is a lot of strength in admitting that you made a mistake, and it takes tremendous amounts of courage and humility to admit you were wrong, and it is an admirable trait to possess. It is a core component to build trust with anybody in the work environment or even in your personal relationships. How annoying is it when someone makes a mistake, and instead of taking ownership, they become defensive?
When you admit that you have messed up and made a mistake, it sends a powerful message to your team that you are willing to do what is right for them rather than do what is right solely for yourself.
Again, this is such an important part of building trust and showing your team that you are committed to the team’s greater good instead of just making yourself look good even if its at the expense of others. So, if you make a mistake, own up to it, and apologize quickly.
Tip 3: Speak the truth
Speaking the truth isn’t always lying and being deceitful because I’m sure that’s not something you would do, and your thinking I would never lie to my team. I’m talking about the little lies that save people’s feelings, like if a team member hands in their work, and instead of pointing out which parts are not up to par, you just fix it yourself; that’s not being truthful. If you are sugar-coating something to make it not seem as important or as bad as it is, that’s not being truthful.
If you are someone who does this, eventually, these minor instances will add up, and you may blow up at your team. This sends a message to your team that you are not truthful with them, and they should second guess what you say. Be upfront, in a respectful, dignified manner, and build trust rather than people please.
Tip 4: Be Authentic
Being a people pleaser is no way to build trust with anybody. If you’re not authentic, you are showing your team that you are not trustworthy. Being authentic is knowing your value and beliefs and holding firm in your stance instead of being liked by everyone.
You can always tell when someone isn’t being authentic with you, and they come off as fake. You may think you’re tricking everyone, but you’re not. Always operate from integrity and in doing so will increase the trust between you and your team members.
Tip 5: Become Effective
Capable people inspire confidence.
You are regularly demonstrating that you are not only capable of leading a team but also of achieving results. You are teaching people that you are trustworthy.
That is not a good look if you are consistently proving that you cannot lead your team effectively and don’t know how to manage resources. It will erode trust, and not only will your team start to wonder if you are trustworthy, but so will your boss.
Becoming effective requires you to have a growth mindset and strive to get better constantly. Ask yourself in what areas can I approve? And then do what you need to do to become more effective. Learning to be effective is a skill, and you need to put in the work, and the effort to continue improving isn’t something you’ll just learn as you go. You have to be actively working at it.
I hope you found this content valuable, and if you are interested in learning more about becoming the best manager you could be. Check out my New Manager Accelerator Program. It is a transformative program that has helped many managers become fantastic at what they do, including building trust with their teams and so much more.
February 25, 2020