Posted: Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

All successful relationships depend on trust..

I recently facilitated a coaching programme with a very successful company in the food sector. One of the key challenges of the programme was to identify why some teams within the company were much more successful than others. We explored a number of possible factors including leadership styles, psychological safety, ineffective communications and a lack of clarity of goals.

While elements of all these factors contributed, after much soul searching and honest discussion, it was agreed the lack of trust differentiated the successful from less successful teams.

Teams that trust each other tend to be much more successful than those who have yet to develop this trust. Trust is the key ingredient in any relationship, be it with a friend, coach, partner or work colleague. It is the powerful bond that team members can form to help them reach their goals.

Loose that trust, regardless of how, and you’ll find the performance of the team or partnership diminished, sometimes beyond repair.

Develop the three C’s of trust….

When you believe that a person on your team is competent, concerned and committed you will usually trust that person. You’ll know they have your back.

How to help develop trust…

So how do you develop trust if you are managing High Performance Teams?

While it takes time, there are three concrete steps any team leader can take to develop trust with their teams. These are –

  • Develop relationships – get to know your people and what makes them tick. Show empathy. Talk and listen to them. When you do so, mean what you say and say what you mean. Be clear, precise and direct. Keep your promises. Coach them.
  • Demonstrate expertise, confidence and judgement – lead as you would like them to lead. If you show judgement, decisiveness and follow through on your commitments, they’ll likely follow you. Equally if you don’t, they will also follow your leadership style. You set the standards.
  • Be consistent – expect excellence, be clear about what you tolerate and always inspect what you expect!

If you’re experiencing any issues with the quality of performance from your team, why don’t you explore how much trust exists within that team?