Whether you are a small business person or a corporate executive, getting the best work out of your people is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership. It takes more than attractive compensation packages and inspirational pep talks. It takes creating a culture of trust that unites people together around a common desire to give their best. Here are five steps any leader can take to build a relationship of trust with their team. 

1. Believe in them, so they will believe in themselves

Every person that works for you has something to teach you. If you are open to learning from them they will gain the confidence to do their best work as partners with you.

2. Free them to do their best work

Don’t micro-manage them. To do so sends two messages. Your lack of confidence in them. And, your lack of confidence in yourself. Remember people can smell the fear in leaders, and will respond accordingly. Be clear in expectations. Let them do it.

3. Trust them

Trust is hard to win, easy to lose. Trust everyone until you have a real reason not to. Be constant and consistent in trusting them. Train and supervise with trust in mind and a culture of trust will grow.

4. Thank them personally

Gratitude is not a reward. It is appreciation. It is hard to be grateful if you don’t know them personally, by name, and what their work for the company is. Gratitude has its greatest impact when it is least expected. Making it personal, makes it real.

5. Honor them

This is part gratitude, but more the way you treat both individuals and teams with dignity and respect. Remember, they don’t work for you, but for your customers. You work for them to create an environment of belief, freedom, trust and gratitude that enables them to do their best work. This is what leaders do.

Keynote speaker and leadership consultant Dr. Ed Brenegar is a catalyst for teaching people to think for themselves, to act on their own initiative and to become people of impact within the organizations, communities, and institutions with which they engage. His Circle of Impact model provides the tools for innovative problem-solving, collaboration and planning across social and organizational boundaries by addressing the connected dynamics between ideas, relationships, and structure.

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