What does it really take to build team trust? And why is it even important to create a trustworthy environment for your team members?
Let me count the ways…
- If your team members don’t trust you, they will question your decisions and actions. They may not follow your instructions or complete their tasks.
- If your team members don’t trust you, you may need to constantly justify what you do and why you do it.
- If your team members don’t trust you, they may keep certain information that you need to make good decisions.
However, if your people trust you…
- They feel confident that they can achieve their goals.
- They are more open to you and their team mates preventing any communication issues.
- They will more likely to work together because they know they can rely on you and their team mates.
But let’s be realistic. Building trust happens over time and not overnight. It does take time and effort on your part to develop that level of trust with your team and get them to work together.
Here are some principles to live by when building trust:
- Be honest. Tell the truth even if it’s unpleasant. Be honest so you get their respect. Don’t lie or you’ll lose credibility. If your team can’t count on what you say, then they’re more likely not commit to you and your vision for the team. If you’re not honest, they are less likely to trust your judgement or decisions.
- Be fair. Treat everyone as equal members of the team. Don’t take anyone’s side and provide them with the same level of support. Never have favorites because let’s face it, nobody likes a teacher’s pet. Finally, don’t give some member privileges and not others.
- Be responsible. If things mess up, take responsibility for it and create a plan to fix it. Admit your mistakes and give credit where credit is due. Keep your promises and do what you say you’re going to do even if it’s not easy or convenient.
Trust is a crucial piece in being a great leader because when your people trust you, they feel secure and confident in what they and the team as a whole can achieve.
Practice the principles and model the “trust-building” behaviors. You will be rewarded with a team that works together to achieve a common goal.