A healthy level of trust is the foundation that allows teams to collaborate more effectively. It’s also what makes employees more productive and willing to take risks on behalf of their companies. In the worst cases, a lack of trust can bring down an entire team or organization.
Building trust takes time, effort, and commitment from everyone involved. But the payoff is enormous, both personally and professionally. When employees and managers are able to trust their peers and supervisors, they can focus on what matters most—working together in a highly collaborative manner to achieve organizational goals.
As leaders, it’s important to remember that trust must be earned and can quickly disintegrate if you don’t live up to your words and actions. A great way to test your own level of trust is to think back on a recent experience when you were not trusted as much as you wanted to be. For example, you might recall a time when you were passed over for a promotion in favor of someone who was more trustworthy. Identifying and working through this wobble in your own level of trust can help you understand the impact of a breakdown in trust on others—and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
The best way to build trust is by demonstrating your integrity at all times, whether you’re in person or online. This includes being transparent and honest with your colleagues, delivering on promises, and aligning your behavior with your values and company’s purpose.
It’s also important to recognize and appreciate the work of others—even when you may not agree with their approach or decisions. Doing this shows that you care about the needs and feelings of your teammates, which helps to build trust. It also shows that you’re not afraid to be vulnerable, which helps people to trust you.
Another key to building trust is closing the “Say-Do” gap, which refers to the difference between what you say and what you actually do. You can do this by listening and actively engaging with your team members. You can also help build trust by showing empathy, which means being supportive of your team members when they make mistakes and by treating them with respect (MBO Partners, 2018).
In addition to being honest, it’s important to keep in mind that trust is a two-way street. You can build trust by displaying empathy and taking steps to solve problems that affect your team. Finally, you can build trust by being open about your emotions and showing that you’re not afraid to be vulnerable.
Whether you’re leading a team of 10 or a global enterprise, it’s essential to be able to build trust. By following these tips, you can help your team to be more effective and productive in even the most challenging situations. In fact, research has shown that when employees trust their leaders and fellow workers, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and take healthy risks on behalf of the company. building trust