It can be difficult to earn the trust of your team, especially if you are a new team leader. If your team does not trust you they will not accept your leadership. When there is a general feeling of mistrust in a team no amount of team building will motivate the team members to work together. To create high performing teams, you have to prove yourself as trustworthy. Your team needs to believe in you as a person and a leader.
Earn Trust Through Self-Disclosure
People tend to only trust people that they know and understand. When you first start a team, it is important that you share your background with the team. Encourage the team to also share information about themselves and create opportunities for the team to socialize together such as team building activities. The better the team members get to know each other, the easier it will be for them to trust each other.
Earn Trust By Keeping Your Promises
As a team leader, it is important that you only make promises that you can keep. Going back on your word is the surest way to lose the trust of your team. When you make a commitment, take full responsibility for seeing it through. It may mean saying no to some requests, but it is better than under delivering on a promise. It is essential that you know your limitations.
Earn Trust Through Open Communication
Communication is another essential component of trust building. When team leaders keep their team informed, they send a clear message that they trust their team members. When you give trust, you gain even more trust back.
Earn Trust By Being a Role Model
People respond well to leaders that inspire them. A team will more readily trust a leader who consistently demonstrate high quality behaviors such as:
Earn Trust Through Accountability
Team leaders will earn their team’s trust when they take ownership of their actions and decisions. It is easy to take ownership when things are going well, but team leaders show themselves trustworthy when they accept responsibility when things go wrong. As a team leader you should also encourage accountability in every team member. This can be effectively accomplished through the team charter and it will ensure that team members cannot hide behind the team.
Earn Trust By Being Present
For your team to trust you, they need to know you are there for them. Listen to your team, hear what they are saying and use questions to understand their situation. Do not limit your communication to emails and memos, but meet face to face with your team regularly. Make sure that you give lots of praise and encouragement, the team need to know how much you appreciate them. Also, be aware of how you use body language so that you do not say things you do not mean through your actions.
Earn Trust By Giving Credit
To earn a team’s trust leaders need to be less concerned about their own profile and more concerned about the team’s profile. Let the team share in the credit and glory. A great team leader is a humble one.
Earn Trust By Establishing Credibility
In a new team, it is likely that individual members know much more about their jobs, organization and situation than you do. Learn from them, learn what they do and how they do it. Find out what works and what does not work, and fix problems where you can. Learn as much as you can as soon as you can.