Your team depends upon you as much as you depend upon your team. So, if they don’t trust you, or your management team, you won’t feel like you can trust them, either. This will undermine all of the good work you intend for your business! How can you best foster trust between all of your team and management?
Confront Your Mistakes
As a manager, you have to be able to lead your team, and without your leadership capabilities, nothing moves forward. Some think that a leadership manager never apologizes for mistakes, but this is the opposite of truth for a strong business. Healthy leaders can practice not only seeing but acknowledging their mistakes and find ways to accept that they have made them. They learn how to apologize for their mistakes, and then repair them. By being willing to take responsibility, your team knows that you are a strong leader who will have their backs, and fix problems.
Take an Interest in Employee Performance
A Gemba walk can help you identify areas that need improvement in the workplace. Gemba means “in the place,” and a Gemba Walk is the management going into the place of work, whether that’s into the café kitchen, onto the factory floor, or into the mailing room, to see what is happening and what might need efficiency improvement. This doesn’t mean going in and telling people what they need to do better … it means observing the process and experiences of your team, and seeing what needs to happen to best support them. They already know where many issues lie, and your observation can support change in protocol.
Overcome Unconscious Bias
No matter what race, religion, gender, culture, or sexuality, all adults have unconscious biases that affect them in the workplace. Addressing those things, not just intending change, within yourself can encourage your team to do the same. Knowing that you are doing this difficult work changes your team’s perspective of your honorability. Their perception of you as responsible and honorable helps them know they can trust you.
Your team needs to be able to trust you, and you need their excellent work. The best work only happens in a trusting environment, where leadership genuinely is trying to be honorable, trustworthy, and to apologize for past mistakes. When you can fix your own problems, this means you can be trusted to help those of others.
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