It’s the time of year where many of us are talking about what we want to lose—a few pounds, some bad habits, a toxic relationship. Today, I’m sharing some ways (I’ve learned the hard way) about what you might gain—or regain—after one of the most challenging leadership years in a while. By investing in a few vital (and actually not really that difficult when you think about it) actions, you can gain more trust and connection with your team.
7 Surefire Ways to Gain (or Regain) Trust
Here’s a start which I know (sadly from personal experience) will work well. What would you add?
1. Admit a mistake.
Not just a small one. I’m going to assume you do that every day. Is there a decision you regret? A strategic move that took the team down a rabbit hole? Or perhaps you let your personal stress bleed into your work, and were harsher in that meeting than necessary.
It’s okay. We’ve all been there.
The truth is when you screw up, your team already knows. You will gain more trust and connection by admitting what you regret and helping the team to move past it.
2. Stop doing something stupid.
I’ve yet to work with a company where folks couldn’t list the “stupid” things they are still doing for stupid reasons.
Want to gain more trust from your team? Pick one of those things and figure out how to stop doing it.
Your team will want to kiss you, and you’ll free up more time for them to work on their MITs (Most Important Things).
3. Take a stand.
I bet if I asked you to describe the leaders you most admire, or your favorite boss, we’d only be a few sentences in before you told me a story about them standing up for something that mattered.
You can be that person.
You know that thing you’re not saying because you’re too afraid? If it really matters, figure out a way to say it well.
4. Forgive a grudge.
I know. This is a hard one. But you know who you’ll gain the most credibility with if you can pull this off? You.
There’s huge value in knowing you’re the one that can take the high road and give someone a second chance.
5. Open a door.
The most credible leaders are ones who help people when they have nothing to gain. Building a reputation as a door-opener is a great way to catalyze credibility, not to mention karma.
6. Have a real conversation with your boss.
I was exchanging stories with an old boss the other day about times where we had found ourselves being the only ones having the tough conversations with our bosses. That audacity has served us both well over the years, and has helped me build the muscles I need to now be a successful consultant. If you want to be more influential with your team, work at being more influential with your boss. Gain credibility by being the one who will own the ugly and work to make it better.
And guess what? If you do it well, your boss will start proactively coming to you asking for advice.
7. Mend fences with your peers.
I get it, this is often the most challenging. After all, it’s not you, it’s them 😉 Maybe that’s true. But your team needs to know you can get things done up, down, AND sideways. If you want your team to trust that you have their best interests at heart, do what you can to put aside the politics and past frustrations and work to foster trust and collaboration with your peers.
What are your favorite ways to gain more trust with your team?