In my last two Resilient Wednesdays, we delved into the concept of trust, exploring its significance, operation, and methods for evaluating trust levels within teams. We also examined how individuals, regardless of their role as a leader or follower, can demonstrate and enhance trust through their actions. Today, in this final installment on trust, let’s focus on how we can empower our teams at work and home to understand, embrace, and exhibit trust behaviors more effectively.
- Understanding Trust: When leaders express the need for their teams to be more trusting, it is essential to articulate what trust means and why it is crucial to achieve this objective. Emphasize the core elements of honesty, authenticity, and empathy, and clearly define the behaviors that exemplify these qualities. Encourage your team to practice these behaviors daily, highlighting that trust can be demonstrated in small, meaningful ways. The other day, a client told me that one of her staff shared some personal health issues with her. She told me she listened, acknowledged her colleague’s concerns, identified some resources, and told her she would keep it confidential. These behaviors build trust.
- Move Forward, Not Backward: It is tempting for team members to dwell on their peers’ perceived untrustworthiness, but this approach often leads to a tangled situation that is challenging to resolve among peers alone. I’ve had too many leaders call me to help resolve these situations when they could not bridge the role of leader and conflict resolver. Contact me, I can help you remedy this situation.
- Embrace Opportunities for Engagement: Building trust is not accomplished merely by discussing it; it requires an active engagement that allows team members to demonstrate trust-based behaviors. Encourage your team to seize opportunities to engage with one another and exhibit trust in action. Folks will often say that It takes years to build trust, but the truth is that there are opportunities to build trust every day. Look for those and use them to make the habit and demonstrate a commitment.
- Bridging Cross-Departmental Gaps: Lack of trust between departments is a common challenge in many organizations. Marketing may feel unheard that the call center does not respond to customers fast enough, finance may be frustrated by the sales folks not completing invoicing properly. Everyone complains about IT (even though they are all good people!) To address this, create a platform for interdepartmental collaboration. Invite members from other teams to monthly meetings to share their work, ideas, and challenges. Moreover, designate individuals within your group as Bridge-Builders, whose responsibility is to connect with others from different departments. Trust flourishes when we see one another as human beings.
In the complex landscape of work and life, resilience is fortified through meaningful connections. Strengthening trust with others allows us to weather challenges more effectively. We can build trust with others and ourselves by cultivating the small habits of honesty, authenticity, and empathy. Take the opportunity to implement these practices and witness their positive impact on your relationships and personal growth.
© Richard Citrin 2023