How do you create an environment of trust in your teams? Whether you have a new team or a team that has worked together for many years, how much time do you spend as a leader building trust?
Trust should be a competitive differentiator in your team. Of course! Who would debate that statement? However, easier said than done.
Think about the last 3-4 years and the erosion of trust in our society. What feelings do these words arouse in you: Enron, Madoff, Martha Stewart, Financial Bailout?
Our opportunity as leaders of change is to create teams that inspire trust with our internal (employees, managers, colleagues) and external (customers, suppliers, partners) teammates. Try some of these ideas:
- Create your opportunity for trust with words, then follow with action.
- Choose to believe in your teammates and tell them that you do.
- Model trust. Be trustworthy. Do as you say and say a you do.
- Seek opportunities to create trust in individual, small team, and large team settings.
- Bring teammates into your planning / actions / tasks. Let them put a fingerprint on the work of the team.
- Delegate. Sharing responsibility with others demonstrates that you at a minimum, want to trust them.
- Be candid and dispassionate. Honesty in communications without emotional interference can be a powerful leadership technique.
- Have courage to be more trusting of others than they might be of you. Allow yourself to carefully demonstrate trust in others that might extend beyond your current relationship today.
To the extent that you can create a culture of trust within your teams you position your customers to consume that trust. Remember, being a customer of a company is a good mirror to what it is like to be an employee of that same company.