As a leader or coach of a team, you will often discover many things about your team members that are personal and sensitive topics. It is a normal part of the team building process and it demonstrates trust in you as their leader. Establishing and maintaining trust is an essential part of the entire team building process. Your team members need know that your purpose for improving their performance is to benefit them personally and the team as a whole. If the team members do not feel that they can trust you, anything you say may be subject to a degree of skepticism. Building trust in your team must be a sincere desire and requires an investment of time and emotion.
As a coach or leader of your team, you should aim at creating an environment where you and your team members can discuss things openly. Having trusting relationships in your team is essential to the process of building a team. Without trust, it is difficult to get to root causes of problems that could be hindering your team to perform to the best of their abilities. Trust is built over time and is accomplished through your actions. Trust, for you as team leader, can be defined as the ability to instill confidence and reliance in you as a team leader by being fair, truthful, honorable and competent in your leadership.
The Role of Trust in Coaching Your Team
To effectively coach your team, you have to create a trusting environment. You will not be able to inspire your team if they do not trust you. Team meetings and coaching sessions are excellent opportunities to demonstrate to your team members that they can trust you. Use these meetings and coaching sessions as a tool for building up the team members and not tearing them down.
Avoid using team meetings and coaching sessions only to deliver reprimands, sanctions or unpleasant news. You do not want to use the sessions and meetings only for addressing negative things. They should be purposeful events that occur regularly and not solely focused on negative information. Performance issues need to be discussed in a way that speaks of development rather than of punishment.
Things to avoid as a team coach or leader:
- Degrading your team members; using negative words like stupid, lazy, slacker etc.
- Ostracizing your team members and using coaching sessions or meetings only as a means for disciplinary action.
- Using coaching sessions or team meetings to punish one of the team members.
- Comparing the performance of one team member against the next.
Building Trust with Your Team
Building trust with your team takes practice and requires dedication. You have to be sensitive to your employee’s needs at all times. The following are some practical steps to help you build trust with your team.
- Maintain a positive body language with your team members.
- Listen attentively to your team members and talk less.
- Respect your team members at all times.
- Keep things confidential.
- Keep your promises.
- Be honest and transparent with your team.
- Be Confident.
- Tell your team members that you believe in them.