It's hard to have a healthy team unless the members trust each other and the enterprise, and both of those require trust between the team and its manager. Take the following quiz to find out if you're trustworthy.
For each item, answer from 1 to 5, 1 meaning "seldom" and 5 "usually":
1. With my team, I spend more time asking and listening than I do talking.
2. I tell my team the reasons behind the decisions I make.
3. I want the team to work toward challenging goals, and I expect that they'll be able to attain such goals even if they've never had to before.
4. My door is open for discussions with my team members, not just about the business but also about topics outside of the workplace.
5. I try to get to know each of my team members as a person and learn about their values, interests and experiences.
6. I share with the team the core values and beliefs about business that influence every decision I make.
7. I make a point of recognizing team members, and the team itself, for a job well done.
8. I deal well with criticisms of my performance, even if I don't like or agree with the feedback.
9. I try to be as consistent in dealing with individual team members' issues as I can; even though each person's situation is different, I want the team to feel I'm a predictable manager.
10. I work to get the information my team needs and wants to know about our organization — even if it's difficult to find out.
What do your answers mean?
The higher your score, the more trustworthy you're likely to be to your team. The items address three different components of trust in organizations identified by consultant Robert B. Shaw, principal of Princeton MCG and author of the widely read Trust in the Balance: Building Successful Organizations on Results, Integrity, and Concern:
- Results: being able to deliver on your commitments and fulfill expectations
- Integrity: having consistency, honesty and clear, admirable values and ethics
- Concern: having the best interests and needs of others in mind as you act
If you scored above 37 points, you probably have these three bases covered. If you scored between 24 and 36 points, you might find that you're weaker in one of these three areas, while if you scored below 24 points, you have room for improvement across the board.
How do you become more trustworthy? The first step, say the experts, is to trust yourself— expect the best, deliver on your promises to yourself and seek to live your values. This will put you in a better position not just to believe that you are, or want to be, a results-oriented leader with integrity who cares about others, but to communicate those elements of trustworthiness to your team members with confidence.