Why does trust matter for Managers
When it comes to managing a business unit and creating a high-performance team, the Trust created by the manager counts most. Everyday brings new challenges and stresses on the manager and the team. New opportunities arise that may challenge the team to performance at a higher level. Even opportunities create pressure and stress. Deadlines may drive the pressure or unanticipated roadblocks may occur. When faced with these challenges, Trust will win the day. Why does it make such a big difference?
A core competency of the top managers is the focus and relentless pursuit of a “trust relationship” with members of the team. The employees don’t have to absolutely like the manager but they must trust the manager. The art & science of building trust are not easy to define. Some managers seem to come to it more effectively than others. There are so many factors that may have helped form the ability of a given manager to build trust that it can defy categorization. That said, there are specific elements that help any manager to become more effective at building trust.
4 Trust Building Steps
- Sincere Interest in each Employee: A manager can not fake sincerity. people have a sixth sense about whether or not another person is sincere. Particularly in a close knit business unit, the time & exposure to each other quickly uncovers a lack of sincerity. The manager reaches out to each employee in formal and informal ways to get to know them in a personal and professional way.
- Communication and the Art of Listening: People want to be listened to and to believe that the manager has heard and understood them, even if the manager may not agree with a particular position. Let’s face it, managers and employees are busy and no one can afford to waste time. But when it comes to effective communication, the manager must excel. Anytime the manager is engaged in a business interaction with an employee, they must shut out the world and focus on what the employee is sharing. the great managers make you feel like you are the only person that matters at that particular time.
- Speak Candidly and Be a Straight-talker: It may seem counter-intuitive, but a Manager who tells it like it is, without too much emotion or judgement involved, will build trust more quickly. Most managers think or feel that being to open and candid may pose too much risk of offending or turning the employee off. If candid talk is sincere and based on the true belief on the managers part, that risk taking is rewarded by building more trust.
- Providing Recognition and Sharing the Limelight: When a member of the business unit excels at a given assignment or finds a great solution, provide postivie feedback to the employee and recognition in the presence of the employees peers. Even where the manager’s efforts were instrumental in the achievement, be humble and use the “we” word. It is much better to say “we were able to come up with a solution to the problem and Jenny really made it happen.”
The bottom line here is that Trust forms the foundation of great leadership. When the manager and the team face a the difficult challenge and the pressure is on, it will be the trust between the manager and the team that unites the effort to excel. Think about any situation and you will conclude that working with a manager who has built trust does makes a real difference. Wouldn’t you rather work in a business relationship where complete trust exists?
Additional Trust Building Resources