To trust or not to trust, that’s the question.
Trust is a loaded word. You can trust things with your life and you can trust that the sun will shine tomorrow. Both important, but they serve as a great example of how the word trust can have various meanings based on the context. One of the areas where trust is of paramount importance is at work. Having a strong foundation of trust is what separates a good team from a great team. While there are many factors that build trust, I want to outline 3 that I’ve seen work particularly well.
Everyone is in a different place in their life. Your team may have people who are still wet behind the ears and others who are seasoned pros, and no one-size strategy is going to benefit them both. If you take the time to watch each of them work, listen to their frustrations, identity their skills, and provide them with a safe place to open up about what keeps them up at night professionally, you’ll be making great strides toward building, not only a very proficient team, but one that has each other’s backs—something very hard to find in corporate America. This all starts by taking the time to get to know each member of your team and their unique needs.
A clear plan
Your team needs to have a clear expectation of what’s expected for each project or deliverable. I was once told to manage a multi-million-dollar budget, and given nothing more than “talk to these people they’ll teach you how to do it.” At this point, I didn’t even know what an accrual was, let alone what questions to ask to get my task done. When the end of the quarter came around, it was no surprise that there were a few mistakes. I had no one source of truth to get the job done. This left me anxious and distrusting that my manager was setting me up for success. If my manager had instead laid out a clear plan, explaining to me the key things to look for, I would have been far more apt to get the job done right the first time, instead of having to learn by trial and error. Take the time to set your teammates up for success and you’ll all reap the dividends.
Every teammate needs some help at one time or another, and often you have some useful knowledge to pass on. At Audienz, we pride ourselves on knowledge sharing. I’ve had all my co-workers provide me with great advice, feedback, and council. The key to making this work is creating an environment driven by recognizing that the success of an individual is a representation of the success of the team and vice versa. This point relates very strongly to the relationships portion of this post.
I trust you’ve found this helpful.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a starting point. Take the time to practice these principles and I’m confident that you’ll be able to build, not only a high performing team, but a team that truly cares for one another in ways that you may not have thought possible in the workplace.