Do you struggle to build trust within a team?
Ever heard the term, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’? Pretty standard edict in the business world. Sometimes, the best work you can create stems from a team that works seamlessly together, relying on and pumping each other up. It can be the case though, that teams do not gel well. Someone may have control issues and take the lion’s share of the work, whereas some people may gladly shirk the work and allow others to pick up the slack. Kaylene Wynn, an Executive Mind Coach, Psychotherapist and Author, loves challenging old rigid concepts and generating a more ‘outside the box’ perspective. She is on hand today to make sure the trust within your team is built, acknowledged and continues to grow. Here are the given scenarios from our readers:
1.“I don’t know how am I able to trust my staff on the team. I am scared that they will betray me because it happened once before.”
Kaylene: Trust is a two-way street, which makes trust fragile and not easy to build – but it’s important not to lead from a fear-based or a reactive attitude. Personalising or a blame game mentality only divides a team even more. You need to shift into solution mode and don’t get stuck on a problem. Focus on establishing a healthy working environment is the goal you want to achieve which involves everyone’s participation. To rebuild the trust, acknowledge what has happened and what the experience has taught you and the team. What you can learn from the experience and how can you grow and move forward is key. Trust begins with trusting in yourself and your own abilities, you are only ever in control of who you choose to be and what you do. Ask questions that open up new ways of thinking and doing.
By discussing the issue openly and honestly in a team environment, it reinforces you’re all in it together, you all contribute to the synergy of the team, signifying you’re all responsible for what you bring to the team environment. Highlight what you can all do differently so it’s not repeated in the future.
2. “I feel threatened if I hire someone who more intelligent than me. What if he/she takes over my position?”
Kaylene: Feeling threatened by someone whom you regard as smarter than you simply highlights your own insecurities. This becomes detrimental not just to the business but also to the team, because you block their progress. Your personal insecurities are your responsibility. This is a fear-based victim paradigm, but by shifting perspective it can offer you countless opportunities for personal improvement, growth and development as well as bigger and greater future prospects. “If you’re green you’re growing, if you’re ripe you’ll rot” has always been a philosophy I have worked with for myself and others. We’re all teachers to each other and there is always something you can learn and grow from – but you need to be open, curious and willing to stretch yourself beyond your own capabilities and collaborate with those who can inspire you rather than threaten you. Empower yourself!
3. “Is there any better way to communicate my fear and trust issues to my team? I don’t want to look weak as a leader. I mean, no one wants to be led by a weak-minded person.”
Kaylene: Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness and being authentic as a leader makes you more effective. To have trust, respect and any credibility begins with communicating with your team honestly and openly, as well as confidently about the situation and what you want to do about it and why. Mistakes are for correction not punishment and everyone can learn from the experience. Own what needs to be owned. Trust underpins a good team dynamic, meaning you will require self-awareness, honesty and courage. Ask for feedback regarding the situation and its important not to be defensive and personalise other people’s perspectives and opinions and listen with an open mind. Define the issues and then shift into a solution focus strategy – this lifts the energy and bringing resolution and empowers the team.
4. “I feel anxious that even if I invest energy and time into my staff on my team, they might walk away from me.”
Kaylene: Your job as a leader is to make your team feel secure, safe and supported. By leading with fear, you inject this dynamic into your team creating a lack of trust and respect and creating unhealthy working relationships. A team looks to a leader to lead them and if you’re leading them out the door you need to reflect on what you are doing or not doing that is contributing to that result. Leadership starts with you and how you are leading yourself. To empower and inspire a team means the leader needs to be inspired and empowered from within. Great leadership is about serving the greater good of the organisation and not being self-serving. Your job as a leader is to help your team be the best they can be through encouragement and inspiration. To be a great leader requires continued personal and professional development, team feedback, self-reflection and taking positive action on constructive feedback as well as being an effective communicator. A team is only as good as its leader.
5. “I am afraid if I don’t give enough of a guideline to my team, they can’t deliver what I am expecting. However, I also want them to work their magic as I know they have ability to create.”
Kaylene: An effective leader creates and communicates a clear positive and inclusive vision of the goals to be achieved. Your team is unlikely to be inspired if they don’t know or understand what goals they are working towards or if their efforts matter much. Create conditions that cause people around you to feel excited and energised. A highly effective leader leads with empathy and empowers their team bringing unity and strength to the team’s synergy by planning and working together. Making unbiased judgements and listening to others ideas and implementations creates trust and belief from the people you lead. Know when to step up as well as step back without being over controlling and micro-managing your team. Create a mindset of “How can we do better?” and “Where do we need to do better? Promote and embrace innovation and creativity amongst your team to express freely without judgement. Listen and respond to any concerns your team may have and follow through on what you say you will do. Always demonstrate integrity by being consistent with your intentions, words and behaviours in a respectful and ethical way. Its not just about talking the talk but walking your walk – and never forget your walk is always visible.