How important is trust to your workplace? Can you easily answer that? Probably not…but you can easily understand the ramifications of low trust. Employees leave the company, productivity is down, engagement is way down, the list goes on. And unfortunately, it’s easier to tear down trust than to build trust back up.
This is on leadership to set the tone, recognize the importance of trust and find ways to understand what matters to their employees and teams. This quote from Charles Green in a Forbes article on trust sums it up perfectly: Leaders can no longer trust in power; instead, they rely on the power of trust.
How do you harness the power of trust as a leader? Simply…you understand your people on a deep level. Here I share 10 ways to build trust based on what will matter to any employee. Any employee? I can say any employee because every person exhibits these ways of thinking and behaving and when you tap into what drives people on an innate cognitive level, you can tap into their trust builders.
10 Ways to Build Trust:
- Bring Proof: Trust comes with the confidence brought by research, data and logic, which is critical for Analytical Thinkers. These team members build trust by seeing proof and knowing that you will deliver factual, clear results
- Be Accurate: People who love structure and process (Structural Thinkers) build trust by seeing a promise executed and delivered. On time. With precision.
- Get Involved: People who approach work via relationships (Social Thinkers) build trust by building and cultivating a collaborative and open way to work. Involve them on a real, results-oriented level to build trust.
- Communicate the Vision: People who gravitate to big-picture and visionary work (Conceptual Thinkers) build trust by knowing that what you’re asking them to do means something on a broader sense. You need to show how their ideas can be executed.
- Listen: Keep in mind that a more quiet team member on the Expressiveness Spectrum will gain trust by seeing someone who pauses, listens and creates a space for their contribution.
- Provide a Forum: More gregarious employees tend to process information out loud, and a manager who allows them space to bring their thoughts whenever and wherever will build trust.
- Create a Non-confrontational Atmosphere: For the peacekeepers on your team, (those who tend toward a more genial mode of Assertiveness), a hard-charging, competitive manager can be a bad fit and erode trust. Make a deliberate attempt to work towards consensus with these team members.
- Challenge People: A genial atmosphere doesn’t mean to preclude driving things forward or being challenging. Build trust with your more competitive employees by challenging their thinking and encourage them to challenge yours.
- Maintain Focus and Direction: Clarity and focus from a leader is critical and team members who tend to be more firm on the Flexibility Spectrum could lose trust with a manager who welcomes change since you may appear wishy-washy and confusing. Be sure to communicate the rationale behind a change (Quick Tip: Incorporating their Thinking Preferences into the reasoning will likely increase your success).
- Prepare for Change: Business is constantly shifting, which means change is inevitable. You can build trust as a leader by tapping into your team members who do love the churn. Trust is built when positive change happens and when they’re given an opportunity to convey their ideas and the opportunity to see the change through.
No matter what kind of thinking is present on the team, thinking about these ten factors will help you to build trust within a team and create a platform for a trusting company culture.
(This article was originally written by Mark Miller for LinkedIn Pulse.)