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Five Steps to Build Trust with Your Team

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

By Lee Polevoi

Building trust is a critical part of leading a high-functioning team. Here are five steps to create an atmosphere of trust in the workplace:

1. Don’t do all the talking

Constantly telling employees what to do suggests lack of faith in their abilities to make decisions on their own. Ask team members what they think of a particular situation. Invite their ideas and contributions. Even if you don’t agree with everything they say, show them you’re willing to listen.

2. Delegate responsibilities, not just tasks

Treating employees as mature, responsible individuals goes a long way toward building trust. Start by giving them tasks the job done, and then delegate a set of responsibilities for specific projects or initiatives. This way, team members understand that you expect them to be accountable for the results and that they have relative freedom to come up with their own strategies for success. Trust and empowerment go hand in hand.

3. Avoid overreacting

Rather than lose your temper or harshly criticize a team member when something goes wrong—those actions only deepen a person’s sense of failure—calmly work through how the error occurred and discuss alternative actions. Demonstrate your trust in the individual’s ability to learn from mistakes and do

4. Provide resources to succeed

Whether it’s providing the right tools to get the job done or offering valuable advice from your own experiences, employees will respond favorably and work harder if given the resources to succeed.

5. Communicate

No single action builds trust more than being open and willing to communicate. A manager who is secluded in an office fosters an environment of insecurity; no one knows what to say or how to behave. But managers who share their vision for the company and invite team members to contribute to an ongoing dialogue get better results.

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