How to Build Trust Within Your Team Sudha Sripada







My husband, my two and a half year old daughter and I went to the park yesterday, I saw my husband lift my girl and throw her high up in the air with extended arms to catch her back, my heart skipped a beat that moment but I broke out into a smile when I saw that my daughter was actually laughing her heart out… questions came racing into my head

Is she not scared she will fall?

How can she be laughing so hard experiencing that when I had the exact opposite reaction just watching them?

Was she so sure that her father would catch her?

Did she even realize she could have fallen?

Is this what they call trust? Bind trust?

Are we all born to trust people and lose this quality as we grow up?

Some questions are so hard to answer but one thing is certain what we refer to as trust is something we cannot live without it is like the air we breathe…we don’t notice until it is gone!

It is the very root of any relationship we have, not visible but holds the relationship sturdy, strong and upright.

When we think back about our relationships that have gone wrong whether it is with our family, friends or colleagues and ask ourselves the question, “why?”

The first and most evident answer will probably be ‘trust’ or the lack of it.

What makes it difficult to trust people? Could it be because trust is so fragile and can be easily broken, what make it worse is that once broken it can never go back to being what it was. It reminds me of this quote: “Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if broken but you still see the cracks”

While on one side we need to understand why we don’t trust easily on the other side we need to ask our selves the question: Am I trustworthy? Maybe more so in my personal circle and less in my professional circle because of the competition I need tackle and competency I need to prove.

Recent Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) reports have found that Trust – or lack of it – is going to be one of the biggest leadership issues in the coming years.

The professional body revealed 37% of employees do not trust their senior managers, and 33% think trust between employees and senior management in their workplace is weak. According to CIPD,  this impacts negatively on engagement, performance and productivity.

Trust has many different contexts. With trust, people will take the risk to change, to work together, to dig deeper and to go further. Without it, they’ll hold back.

It is common knowledge that employees will do 30% of what you say and 70% of what you do. So what should leaders do to increase trust?

Be honest: Speak the truth, share with employees not just data but the underlying feelings as well. Be emotionally transparent. Use every meeting, every performance review, and every chat as an opportunity to practice emotional transparency.

Truth can only truly be achieved when those involved are willing to express feelings freely and teams are able to flourish when a connection is made through the exchange of emotion.

Walk the Talk: Actions speak louder than words. People in an organization act on values and culture. As a leader, you are embodying those values and living that culture is critical. Being a role model makes a leader credible and trustworthy. It is important for you as a leader to make sure that the team around you understands what you are doing and the reasons behind it.

Be consistent: The third step is to be consistent in words and behaviors. Consistency builds confidence, which in turn creates trust. We strive to be consistent with our quality and services with our clients and customers the same rule applies to being a trustworthy leader. Consistency establishes your reputation and creates accountability.

Connect: Foster genuine connections. Respecting and truly valuing individuals and their ideas, opinions and feelings with an open mind is the basis for mutual trust.

People who only convey hard facts come across as cold and distant. Facts stated without care and compassion doesn’t help create a culture for trust. A good leader is able to balance the rational and the emotional.

And at the end of the day, don’t forget to celebrate, its not just about achieving the target, make the process joyful as well. It will help you move from the stance of demanding trust to earning trust.

About the Author:

Sudha Sripada, our Development Specialist, is a qualified counselling psychologist and EQ Certified practitioner. She works with the Dynamic Learning team to research, design and develop experiential training programs that blend head and heart to bring about lasting change.

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