How to Build Trust in a Leadership Team
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
In our work with leadership teams, we uncover the areas that will enable the team to work at an even higher level. In our experience, when trust issues are uncovered and improved, there is a corresponding and very significant improvement in the team’s ability to operate and deliver results.
The head of the leadership team has a pivotal role to play in encouraging any real shift in trust levels. As leader, you should ask yourself.
a) Do I really trust the people in my leadership team? Do I trust that their intentions are good and that they have the competence to do their jobs?
b) If not, what specifically will it take for me to develop that trust and allow the team to perform at the highest level?
Leaders lead by example. To start the process of building more trust within your leadership team, consider the following steps:
- Earn trust. Be transparent with your team, admit errors, share a bit of the real “you” with the leadership team. As long as this is genuine, it has the effect of encouraging more openness and honesty from the team members – a good basis for developing more trust.
- Encourage team members to play their part in the development of further trust in the leadership team. Explain the importance of trust and openness to enable the team perform at its best. Ask team members to privately consider questions a) and b) above. Ask them to check in with themselves – “is my attitude trusting? If not, am I prepared to change my attitude?”
- Look at your reward system – does it encourage openness and trust or silos and politics?
- Set clear expectations and tell your people you trust they can meet them. Instead of micro-managing, tell them to ask for help if they need it.