Creating trust in your workplace is essential for long-term growth in your business. When your team exercises clear communication and you as a leader take the time to listen to understand your team, you’ll be able to reach new heights together. However, when your team feels controlled, commanded, and manipulated, they won’t see you as a leader worth following and will become disconnected from their work and disloyal to you and the team.
There are three roadblocks we’ve identified that can keep you from being a humble leader. There are some simple actions you can take to overcome them and develop trust.
ROADBLOCK #1: The level of dialogue and interaction within the team has declined or become non-existent.
When your team isn’t talking about anything outside of necessary work tasks and interactions, you’re not part of a team; you’re leading an environment of robots. People should feel free to share challenges or successes with you. If you’re a leader who takes the time to care and serve your team, they will want to share those things with you and want to share their opinions on what works and what doesn’t. When you approach your team with the desire to listen to understand, they’ll start to feel comfortable enough to approach you first and engage in healthy dialogue with you.
ROADBLOCK #2: Your decisions are openly questioned, debated, and deliberated.
Depending on the personalities involved, a team without trust is either silent or very loud. The flipside of roadblock one is roadblock two. If you operate through control and command strategies, every project or task will take longer than it should because your team will have to argue with you to make their voices heard. When you steamroll their feedback or ideas, resentment and anger form. They won’t trust you with their ideas, and they certainly won’t trust yours. Creating a space to receive honest feedback from your team gives them the opportunity to be heard.
ROADBLOCK #3: No one tells you what you most need to hear.
If you don’t have anyone challenging your ideas, whether good or bad, you may have accidentally cultivated a team of yes men. We all have moments where we need someone to reveal an uncomfortable truth about our work or our behavior. You do not demonstrate that you trust those you lead when that dialogue doesn’t exist inside your team. When you show your team that you desire a teachable atmosphere and actively seek their feedback, they’ll offer new ideas and guidance that will help your team grow together.
A trust gap leads to indecision and overthinking. As a humble leader, you build influence when you acknowledge that you do not know all the answers, respect and value what others contribute, and actively engage with your team to create solutions and seek feedback. When you remain open-minded, you foster an environment where your team feels safe sharing ideas with each other and with you.