A highly performing team can only be achieved if there is real trust within the team. Trust is an interesting concept because if you ask someone to articulate how trust is earned then it can mean many things to many people.
For me to gain trust and build trust are fundamentally about honesty. If someone is not honest then I cannot trust them. So how does that feed into your team? I think it starts with credit; credit earned and credit given.
It’s so important to talk about a job well done and not just within the team but to the wider organisation and those further up the food chain. Use email or your company’s messaging platform to call out the successes and who was responsible for the success. Give specifics for each team member so that they feel that their commitment to the project or task was worth it. We all love a bit of recognition and as a team leader it’s your job to ensure that this goes both ways; individually , in team meetings but to your manager too.
I’ve talked before about how to handle failure and I think that this to helps build trust. If you react well, finding the successes in the failure and working out together how things can be done better in the future then this will also feed into how well your team trust not only you but your organisation.
Openness is a tricky concept as it goes hand in hand with truthfulness. As a manager or team leader you walk a tricky line as you will be privy to information that cannot be shared. However there are many instances where you can be open and truthful in your dealings with your team. If there are things you cannot tell them, explain as best you can the situation or give them as much information as you are able to. Openness is so important when sharing your own experiences and knowledge. By sharing what you’ve been through in the past – the good, the bad and the ugly, not only will your team learn from your mistakes but they will also appreciate the openness and truthfulness you are showing.
Trust, think about what it means to you and then what actions you need to take to bring that to your team.