Have you ever been in a workplace in where trust is absent?
You might be one who is familiar with a situation or a workplace where trust isn’t present.
Communications go awry, the heated arguments – sometimes unnecessary bickering breaking out over the responsibilities of who does or who did what. People hold on to certain information instead of sharing them, and when they do, often reluctantly. Smooth workflow is obstructed with the lack of willingness to cooperate with one another.
All of that in contrast to when trust is present and the group achieves a harmonious, cohesive workflow and the job gets done.
Why You Need Trust Within Your Team
What really does Trust means to you?
Trust essentially means being able to rely on someone and knows he/her has got your back. It means that you trust and count on them to be able to do the right thing. It means you are able to rely enough on the person’s principles and morals to do right by you.
Trust creates a safe space.
It builds rapport, and allows communication to happen more effortlessly than when there is mistrust.
People are more willing to open up and share. They are more comfortable with being vulnerable enough to ask questions plus providing information – of which is an integral part for efficient problem solving and conflict resolutions.
Here are five things that you can do to cultivate trust
1. Allow Open, Transparent Communication
If there isn’t a culture in the office for people to engage in an open, honest, meaningful conversation with each other, then you might want to start facilitating it.
Start by creating a safe space for team members to ask questions, voice their opinions, and discuss expectations. It should be a space where no one is made to feel wrong for thinking or feeling a certain way – but it should be encouraged to be expressed so solutions can be made to address those issues.
Think of it this way: expressed emotions and thoughts are way better than bottled up ones.
When you allow people to talk, you are encouraging them to open up to you, and that, builds trust.
2. Walk The Talk
Let’s face it: nobody likes a hypocrite. In the process of cultivating trust, you must constantly remind yourself to practice what you preach. Your team will be looking to you as a guide for what and how to behave, and any difference in what you say and what you do is bound to be a topic of gossip behind your back.
Build trust by showing trust. As a matter of fact, show, more than tell. When you made a promise, keep it. When you make a suggestion, be the first to practice it. Follow through with what you said.
3. No Pointing Fingers
When it comes to mistakes on the team, focus on the issue, and never the person. Where one is made to feel wronged and even incompetent, you start building walls of defense instead of trust – which is ultimately unproductive in problem-solving and if cultivating trust is your goal.
4. Bond Deeper
Encourage after work activities or lunch get-togethers. That is often one of the best ways to get teammates to bond and know each other more. In fact, a casual after work drink is one of those outings which creates a lot of laughter and fun. 😉
Apart from that, sessions can be organized where meaningful and much deeper conversations are facilitated. Such sessions may involve asking more personal questions such an personal interests, passion projects. Perhaps you may wish to have a discussion on values and principles, and what truly matters to each individual in their lives.
While some discernment with asking personal questions is also important, asking personal questions can help individuals to feel more acquainted with you. It might encourage them to open up more in the future to share more.
#5. Allow For Flexibility
When you allow people more room for flexibility, you create a space where people can feel more at ease with themselves and with the workspace.
Of course, how this pans out depends on how big the organization is. But this might work in smaller teams and departments, even startups.
For example, more flexible and negotiable working hours can be allowed, as to more “time off” and breaks. This sends the message of trust to workers – people are generally more likely to give back.
Cultivating trust might not seem that big a deal – but it actually is in the bigger scheme of things. After all, when all hell breaks loose, it is the ones who are directly involved in operations who will have a huge impact to an organization’s bottom line. It only makes sense then that this person fit right in with one another, and with whoever who are managing them.