Video: How do I build trust in my team?
In this short video, we take a look at how to build trust in your team, and why this is such an important consideration for leaders.
You cannot build a high performing team if you don’t have trust. Trust is an important consideration for leaders as it helps build credibility. Trust and credibility are what followers look for in their leaders.
Edward R Murrow (1908-65) was a famous American Broadcast Journalist, and he said it best: To be persuasive we must be believable. To be believable we must be credible. To be credible we must be truthful.
Credibility and honesty are synonymous. In fact, many people say that honesty is the number one thing they look for in a leader. Overall, followers judge a leader’s credibility in terms of:
- ability to inspire.
With all that has happened in the business world and global economy over the last 12 years, it is not surprising that studies show a decline in trust. Individuals are tending toward having less trust in businesses, political leaders, and institutions. The Edelman Trust Barometer for 2014 saw Australia’s highest levels of trust in non-government organisations since they started surveying here in 2009. However, people are still wary of the government and their job security, with an overall trust score of only about 58 percent.
Against the backdrop of a global financial crisis and increasing unemployment, people’s fears can be exaggerated, and they don’t trust. An empathetic, emotionally intelligent leader senses this and devotes effort and time to make people feel safe. Empathy involves understanding others’ anxiety and making a genuine effort to reduce it.
Trust is power – the power to inspire and influence. It’s the glue that bonds us to each other; it strengthens relationships and turns threads of connections into steel cables. Can your people trust that your word is your bond?
There is a relationship called the economies of trust. It looks like this:
When trust is down, productivity is down. When productivity is down, your costs are probably going to be higher. But when trust is high, you’ll find productivity is also high. When productivity is high, your costs are lower, and that flows through to the bottom line of your organisation.
If you want to build trust with your team there are several things you can do.
1. Practice openness
A working environment with open, clear lines of communication is essential for trust. When people don’t know what’s happening, or why things happen the way they do, mistrust begins to take over.
2. Be fair
As a leader, stopping to think about how your team will perceive the fairness and objectivity of your actions must be a part of your decision-making process.
3. Speak your feelings
While it is important for leaders to communicate the facts, if that is all you communicate, your team will perceive you as cold and impersonal. Emotionally intelligent leaders build trust and influence others by knowing when to share their emotions and understanding how others will be affected by their feelings.
4. Tell the truth
We’ve already established that telling the truth is essential to your credibility as a leader. The truth is powerful; team members are more likely to respond well to bad news when they know that their leaders have been genuinely honest with them.
5. Show consistency
Uncertainty due to inconsistent leadership leads to mistrust and confusion. Do some self-reflection to assess your personal and professional values, and keep them in mind as you make decisions that will impact others and lead your team throughout the various stages of team development.
6. Fulfil your promises
If you want your staff to trust you, you need to consistently show them that you are reliable. Trustworthy leaders keep their word and their promises.
7. Maintain confidences
No doubt, the people you trust most are those who you know will be careful with sensitive information. Likewise, if you want your team to trust you, you need to build towards this by showing they can rely on you when they tell you things in confidence.
8. Demonstrate competence
Finally, your technical skill level and professional reputation are also an essential aspect of your credibility as a leader. Your team will have more value and respect you when they see that you know what you are doing.
You can only build trust incrementally, so start slowly and build the trust factors each and every day with your team. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results.
Related workshops and training:
- Team Building with DISC® – 1 Day Course
- Emotional Intelligence – 2 Day Course
- Leading Teams – 1 Day Course