Business Management Skills -Trust Building Tips for Managers

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To be successful as a manager it is important to develop a relationship with the team that is based on trust. When employees trust and respect their manager they will give special effort especially when they feel trusted and supported.

Employees rarely excel under the punitive thumb of someone they do not trust and who they feel does not trust them. Without trust productivity suffers as team members play politics, spend time covering themselves and being compliant to dictates that they know are counterproductive. Lack of trust affects morale and customer satisfaction as the employees shift energy and focus from working on real life issues that affect customers to resentment and dissatisfaction towards management.

Effective Communication

Managers who communicate openly and frequently build relationship and trust with the team. They should not make team members guess what they’re thinking but should tell them. Employees can feel that no news is bad news. A lack of interaction erodes trust. Face to face interaction is the best method to build trust.

To get Trust Managers Need to Give Trust

It is important for a manager to create an environment of trust. This begins by trusting others. It is more effective to assume employees are trustworthy unless they prove otherwise rather than waiting to give trust when they haven’t earned it. As team members come to feel they are trusted by their manager, they will find it easier to trust in return.

Be Honest

Honesty is a very important factor that affects trust. Managers who demonstrate openness about their actions, intentions and vision, soon find that people respond positively to self disclosure and sincerity. As a manager share good and bad news openly. This can eliminate gossip and diffuse inappropriate politics. Great managers know that they are not perfect and they make mistakes. It is better for a manager to admit mistakes rather than ignore them or cover them up. A cover up (perceived or real) is probably the greatest single enemy to trust.

Establish Strong Business Ethics

Managers need to set moral values for the work place. Teams with common ethics are healthier, more productive, adaptable, responsive, and resourceful because they are united under one common value set.

Keep Your Word

Do what you say you will do and make your actions visible. Team members quickly pick up on insincerity and broken promises. Visibly keeping commitments will foster trust. If a manager neglects to make actions visible to the team it can create the impression/perception that they don’t follow through.

Keep Interactions Consistent and Predictable

Building trust is a process. Trust results from consistent and predictable interaction over time. If a manager responds differently from week to week it becomes harder to trust him or her.

Set the Tone for the Future from the Beginning

The initial actions of the manager establish norms and expectations. A manager should lead by example.

Be Accessible and Responsive

Find ways to be regularly available to team members. When interacting, be responsive. Unresponsiveness causes unease and distrust. Be action rather than talk oriented. Don’t just think about taking action-do it!

Maintain Confidences

Team members need to be able to express concerns, identify problems, share sensitive information, and surface relevant issues. It is important early on to get agreement as to how confidential data will be handled.

Watch your Language

It is important that a manager’s language does not imply “us” or “them”. Terminology should be easy to understand. Leaders should stick with business language and not use strong or vulgar language.

Create Social time for the Team

A lot of trust and confidence is built through informal social interaction. Successful managers ensure that social opportunities happen regularly.

Building trust with employees is critical for creating an effective team that works well together. Taking time to build trust will reap benefits for managers that last a long time.

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