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Team Starts with Trust

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Before you can build an effective and productive team, you need to build trust within your organization from top to bottom. There is no room in today’s business climate for hidden agendas or a secretive environment.

Trust is fragile and it’s hard to build a foundation within an organization unless leadership is consistent.

“Managers often don’t realize that they create their own leadership problems” (Ryan, 2018). Inconsistency and erratic behavior lead to the erosion of trust in any company.

Trust is also not automatically given and is often withheld until actions of leaders reflect a culture that propagates trust. To ensure trust is created organically, the organization’s leaders need to do some very specific things to earn trust at every level of the business.

Ryan in her Forbes article Ten Ways To Build Trust On Your Team, says “You and your fellow managers may have to step out of your comfort zone to make these changes. You may have to step out of your comfort zone merely to suggest making these changes!”

  1. Talk– Open dialogue and frequent communication needs to be part of your everyday rituals. Daily huddles allow your team to be updated on what’s happening in the organization and allows them to contribute.
  2. Stop Shaming – Mistakes happen, embrace failure as a positive. Use mistakes to help you shape a new course of action. Innovation is often sparked by failure, who is working outside the box and outside comfort zones to find solutions.
  3. Be Clear – Your Handbook and Policies need to be updated and regularly shared. These policies need to be used consistently and equitably at every level of the organization.
  4. Be Visible – Leaders need to be available and visible to their teams. Leaders who are accessible can help team members overcome obstacles more quickly.
  5. Value People – You must demonstrate that your team members are real people with real issues that affect them in and out of work. Show empathy and demonstrate humanity when dealing with your team.
  6. Model Behavior – Leaders need to walk the walk and talk the talk. It is not a ‘Do what I say, not what I do’ mentality. If you want trust, you must demonstrate the behaviors of a trustworthy person.
  7. Own Mistakes – No one is perfect and owning your mistakes no matter how insignificant, shows trust. Being open and honest with your team about your errors or a company error is much better than trying to cover it up.
  8. Adopt a Human Voice – Deal with your team personally and directly but avoid jargon, lectures and quoting policies instead of actively listening and communicating in a natural yet professional way. Every conversation doesn’t have to be formal and impassionate.
  9. Check-in – Conduct check-ins and regularly take a ‘temperature’ check with your team. Ask them how they are doing and how you can make the environment more positive. Give your team a chance to be heard without judgement or retribution.
  10. Be Honest – Be transparent and be open to feedback. Demonstrating integrity is paramount if you want your employees to trust you.

Building trust isn’t easy and with high turnover of staff it makes it difficult to keep the foundation you build steady. Finding new employees is also challenging and you must make sure that the culture climate in your organization is visible and solid.

Reinforce your ‘trust’ culture in at every level of the hiring process. Practice what you preach and communicate your key culture points to new candidates. This transparent culture will be transferred to your clients and customers.

Working with a professional and certified ActionCOACH can help you develop a solid company culture and environment to help build and keep powerful teams that will help you run your business.

To connect with an ActionCOACH near you, visit actioncoach.com.

We guarantee results and the first coaching session is on us.


Carmen Gigar is the Chief Marketing Officer for ActionCOACH Global.