We all are working so hard and with such focus that sometimes we forget about the people around us. Not that we don’t notice them, it’s just that we assume they will always be there, prepared and ready to contribute. We take for granted that our teams are committed to giving their best since they have never let us down . Why wouldn’t each person want to share his or her most creative and innovative ideas for the good of the project?
Then all of a sudden we sense a change in attitude. Maybe it actually wasn’t suddenly, but over a period of time. We began to hear fewer suggestions in meetings. We noticed that projects were missing deadlines. Team members weren’t stopping by to run ideas by us or seemed to be making decisions without our involvement or consideration. Why do we feel a bit isolated with less contact from our team?
Wake-up and smell the lack of trust and connection. Being alone on the branch of a tree, broken off slightly, is a bit unsettling. What is happening is that we are leading in a vacuum without our trusting crew. We are on a team with people who view us in a more skeptical way and who perhaps see us as untrustworthy. How did this happen? How did we not notice the change? How did we lose their trust?
Here are a few ways we might have broken the bond of trust:
We stopped asking for input
One of the surest ways to make people feel unappreciated or overlooked is to fail to elicit suggestions from them. We may feel pressed to meet a deadline, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be open to relevant opinions or additions from our team members. How do you feel when you are overlooked or not included?
Before finalizing a project, collaborate with your team by asking them for ideas that may impact the worthiness and comprehensiveness of the end result. Not only will you gain beneficial information, but you will also build trust with the contributors.
We no longer “shoot the breeze”
Look around and think about the last time you asked people at work about what challenges they are facing at work or in their personal lives. Begin a conversation that helps you peek into someone else’s life. Thinking of ways to combine an individual’s outside interests with their world at work can be very powerful as well as enlightening. The “asking” is the important part- not the actual question.
We rarely share our real concerns
Although we may want to protect our teams from the most pressing problems, sharing those issues makes us more authentic and trustworthy.
- Being truthful breeds support and help from others.
- Being honest cultivates accurate and realistic expectations.
- Being clear empowers others to contribute in a more meaningful and productive way.
Don’t be afraid to be “real” and inclusive.
We became less human and caring
Modeling an environment of care and respect goes a long way for leaders. When we show people our vulnerabilities similar to theirs, we open a dialogue and build trust. When we make our interactions just about work, we diminish the depth of our relationships. Leaders who show humanness create more trusting connections.
Ask for input
Shoot the breeze
Share real concerns
Become more human and caring
What are your secret ingredients to building trust?