Building Trust

Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>I have written many times on trust. Two post give more details – Working Trusting Relationships and New Leadership Position – You’re Up! As employees we all want a trusting working environment. As managers it is one of our responsibilities to insure that we develop a trusting environment.  Then why is it that 82% of people don’t trust their boss? When I was working with an organization recently, it became very apparent that one area that needed focus was developing a better, more trusting work environment.  If you spent some reflection time on the working environment you work at – is it a trusting environment?  Are people worried about what others are saying? Decisions taking forever to get made? Back stabbing happening? There is no shortage of examples of what we don’t want…

What does it take for you to do to make your work environment be more trusting?

  • Assume best intent (until proven otherwise). You want to build that culture of trust, then no one, especially the manager, should not assume the worst in a person or situation. Remember that jumping to conclusion kills trust.
  • Remove barriers. One of my favorite items that help to bring trust back is to spend time working on removing barriers, like removing bureaucracy. Jumping through hoops to get work done, erodes trust very quickly. Make work easy, remove the red tape and watch things change quickly.
  • Act as an example of trust. If you want to improve the culture of trust, you have to trust your team to do their work and make decisions. That means even if that decision that was made did not go well. You still have to trust the decision and tell your employees so. After a decision has gone wrong, I usually sit down and we revisit the situation and possible decisions – and then let the employee learn from it… This should make the next decision point better.
  • There is no “I” in team. Other words like “we” and “they” should never describe the teams. Listen to how the team talks. If you hear those words or the “us against them,” time to step in and course correct. For the English majors, take out those pronouns and insist that names are used.

Building a trusting culture is difficult. As the manager, you are the key to much of the success of building that environment. People inherently don’t trust the boss… If you can demonstrate and live up to being a trusting manager, you can get your team to follow along. It starts with you!

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