If you are a typical leader or executive, the question of trust in an organization is always a challenging one. We think about it every so often, but it’s not something that we want to address. The reality, however, of how trust affects our teams is a big topic which needs to be addressed. This includes the question: do I believe in my team members?
Here are some key points to think about when it comes to maintaining and growing trust in our team members:
Get to know your team members and place them in a situation where they can be most effective for the team – “on the right bus, in the right seat on the bus.”
For many organizations, there are team members who are highly skilled and talented – but not in the best situation to utilize their skills and abilities. The main reason why they are in the wrong situation and position is because a leader made a decision to put them in that position – and to leave them there. As a result, poorly positioned members find it difficult to get things done well. Conversely, leaders become increasingly frustrated with the results they see and manage.
Take the time to get to know your team members. What motivates them and creates excitement to work for your organization? Is there something which frustrates them? What keeps them from doing their best? Ask them what creates fulfillment in them. Find out what they think would be the best situation for them and for the organization.
Make a distinct point to provide genuine, sincere, and positive encouragement on a regular basis.
As leaders, we tend to think that encouragement is something that is “nice to have,” but not something that needs to be necessary. However, we also like and appreciate receiving recognition and encouragement ourselves. We forget, though, that an environment of encouragement and praise starts with leadership – and that’s our responsibility.
Just as much as you think about periodic meetings for performance reviews, project meetings or other opportunities where you gather with team members, make a point to schedule times to encourage your members. Praise them for great work, for accomplishments that are extraordinary, and especially for those qualities that your organization wants to promote within its team members.
Position every team member in a growing situation of trust and responsibility.
This point may be the most missed in all kinds of organizations. It is really easy to forget that we as leaders had to start somewhere. Someone gave us a chance to manage more responsibility than we currently had in our control. In most leaders’ careers, it has happened more than once. Why is it that we don’t strategically think about creating a system of increased responsibilities for our team members.
Think about how you can entrust your team members with unique opportunities to gain trust, recognition and credibility within the organization. These opportunities don’t necessarily have to be big promotions or major increases in responsibitlies. Instead, give opportunities to accomplish goals and objectives for trust to increase, recognition gained, and credibility established in new areas.
There is one critical point which is frequently missed by most leaders: when you have a great amount of trust in your team members, you gain confidence and peace of mind as a leader. There is no better feeling than to walk out of your office and know that everything is in highly capable hands. By strategically positioning everyone to achieve great results, you can have that experience of incredible results.