Teams as we all know have the potential to deliver greater results than one individual could working in isolation. At the same time a lack of trust is often one of the biggest barriers to team success.
So what practical steps can you take to build trust in teams?
Avoid The Seniority Trap
Once upon a time people trusted others because they were more senior and experienced. Those days are long gone. Don’t rely on your status to get trust.
Set The Tone
As a leader or manager you set the tone. If you don’t trust anyone people will see that as the norm and not trust either.
Get To Know What Matters To Others
Everyone is not like you even if you wished they were. People are motivated by different things. Make a point of finding out what matters to them.
Give Regular Feedback
We all thrive on feedback to some extent. At the end of the day we want to know how we are doing and what we can do better.
Over ambition can mean that you isolate people before you are even out of the starting blocks. Think in terms of small steps rather than big leaps.
Be Honest With People
Don’t pretend you can fix everything or fix it overnight. Don’t hold back information. Try to be open and transparent with people.
People on climb on the trapeze if they know there is a safety net below. If you don’t provide the safety net in terms of support people will never take a chance.
The media loves to find a scapegoat when things go wrong. If you do this as a manager you will destroy any possibility of trust.
Hold People To Account
There is no point setting expectations if you never follow up. By following up you hold people to account.
Listen More Speak Less
People are a brilliant resource. They have ideas, experiences and insights. The only thing you need to do is decide whether you are willing to listen.
Do What You Promise
Action speaks louder than words. If people see you doing what you promise, it encourages them to do the same.
Empower and Delegate
Avoid micromanaging or holding on to all of the best opportunities or projects.
Stand Up For Your Team Publicly
Even when you have to difficult conversations privately stand up for your team in public.
Take Responsibility For Results
Leading and managing has both risk and reward. Don’t take the rewards unless you are willing to take responsibility.
Give Recognition To Others
Never underestimate the contribution of others in delivering anything of significance. See yourself of others delivering great results.
The Bottom Line: Building and maintaining trust is a long term project and continued work in progress.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and achievements helps organisations to improve leadership, management and team working. You can learn more here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.