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3 Important Actions To Create Trust In Teams
This article goes out to modern leaders with the ambition to create impact in their teams:
Have you asked yourself how easy it is for your employees to trust you (and not in the sense of trusting you will send them a to-do list on time), like REALLY trust you?
Have you ever asked them if they do? Could they perhaps feel you only do something for your own progression and at the rest of the team's expense?
Is their environment at work secure enough to share ideas without being judged, ridiculed or worse - not receiving any encouragement and acknowledgement for their efforts and input?
Needless to say, if this is the case - chances are your team are feeling pretty unsure of you, their work environment, colleagues and that in itself will only negatively impact productivity, thwart creativity and do nothing but foster ill feelings towards the company, its values and so on.
Trust in the workplace is of paramount importance and without it you may as well be filling a bucket with holes in it.
Here are 3 ways that you as a leader can build genuine trust in the workplace:
1. Practice What You Preach
A leader’s actions speak volumes. Modeling the behavior you seek will influence employee action. Furthermore, it has the potential to drive their results. If you say teamwork is important try to reinforce the point by collaborating across your teams and their functions. Give credit when people do great work and you’ll set the stage for an appreciative culture.
Show support towards your team members particularly not only in their successes but their mistakes, too - Take that opportunity to offer guidance and encourage honest dialogue. This article by Dana Wilkie about Do’s and don'ts for addressing employees’ mistakes might be useful to consider.
2. Appreciate That Building Trust Takes Time, Hard Work & Consistency
Like many things in life, trust must be earned. A conscious effort has to be made to walk your talk and very importantly, align your behavior with your values. People respond well to leaders who are approachable and dependable, this will help build your team's confidence in you.
Consistently doing what you say you’ll do, builds trust over time and it can’t be something you only do occasionally, It needs to be ALL THE TIME. This will certainly be worth the effort. If your team trusts you, they have confidence in your decisions and are influenced by your leadership but try remember that once that trust is lost it can be very difficult to recover so consistency is everything!
3. Speak Less, Listen More
In this article by David Grossman speaks about the importance of actively listening. The ability to listen actively will not only help build a good rapport between you and your team but also offer you a chance to understand them far better. A good way to do this is by paraphrasing what they’ve told you. This helps ensure you are understanding what they are saying and that nothing has been lost in translation. Working on your listening skills will help you meet your team's needs. It helps to identify team members who may be in need of assistance or even some time off. It also demonstrates your capacity to empathize which as we know is fast becoming the most valuable skill to have.
According to a study by Paul J. Zak for HBR: compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.
Trust takes a long time to build but can be broken in seconds. It’s powerful enough to help create successful relationships, be it personal or professional and as Chris Butler said;
“ Trust is earned when actions meet words”.
Productivity & Wellbeing Director
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