“If people like you, they will listen to you. But if they trust you, they will do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar If you’ve read or heard of Patrick Lenciono’s “The Five Disfunctions of a Team,” you know that Trust is the foundation for all good teams. If you haven’t read it, just trust me on this one (haha, see what I did there). In the book, Lencioni describes a lack of trust as a killer of team growth. Without it, you can’t make critical decisions, have constructive criticism, or hold people accountable for their actions in a healthy way. So, what does a lack of trust look like in an organization? A lack of trust usually rears its ugly head as micromanagement. A leader questioning your completed work. A peer repeatedly asking, “Did you get that handled?” A team member questioning their team leader on every decision. Make no mistake. Trust goes both ways. Revolutionary leaders know that trust must be earned by them as the leader as much as the team members. The team’s trust in their leader isn’t a given because of their position in the company. It must be proven through consistent actions. Ditto for the revolutionary team. They must prove they’re trustworthy through their actions and honesty. For revolutionary leaders, there are three things you can do to build trust with your team:
  1. Be vulnerable: Share stories or insights into your shortcomings. Give examples of times you’ve made mistakes, and then teach them the lessons you learned from them. It will help show them you aren’t always perfect and permit them to make mistakes.
  2. Celebrate their superiority: Tell them about a trait they exhibit that far exceeds your similar trait. Are they better communicators? Do they know a little more than you in a subject? Tell them, and admire that trait.
  3. Let the team member teach you something: Building on #2, have the person show you how much they know or how they learned a particular skill. It will build their trust and offer some vulnerability from item #1.
For a revolutionary team, here are a few ways you can build trust with your peers and your team leaders:
  1. Honor your commitments: If you say you will do something, follow through and do it. If you can’t do it, let the other person know immediately. Or say no at the time of the request.
  2. Admit your mistakes: Similar to leaders, admitting mistakes will show vulnerability and honesty. Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility and own up to the error.
  3. Be helpful: There’s nothing like providing help without being asked or asking for something in return. Are we done for the day? Offer to help others. Is someone struggling with a task? Offer guidance and support.
If trust is broken in the workplace, rebuilding it will take time. Take some of those steps now, and slowly, you’ll see fewer questions about your work, fewer people breathing down your neck, and more freedom to work effectively and efficiently with your team. Be vulnerable, honest, and trust the process (I did it again!), and you’ll find the foundation for a highly evolved team revolutionizing their actions daily.