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4 Simple Steps for Managers to Gain Trust in Their People

Updated: Mar 19

Suzanne was known for running around the office with her hands in everything. People were irritated by it. Her boss was entirely frustrated with it. Suzanne would say she was making connections and helping her team, but in reality, she was pointing out negatives and getting in the way.

The real reason Suzanne had her hands in everything was because she didn’t trust in her team to get it done right.

Her ego was getting in the way, thinking she had to be the go-to person and nothing would turn out right without her catching everyone’s mistakes and closely watching everything.  

Trust is the foundation to good relationships, but do you know how many other things it impacts in your organization?

It affects the efficiency of the team.

It impacts creativity.

Quality is impacted.

Engagement is much lower.

It creates silos and turf wars.

It divides the team.

Lack of trust is a common denominator in many workplace dysfunctions.

Suzanne and I met during a leadership program I was facilitating for her company. She approached me after class one day and told me she’d been spoken to about her lack of trust in her team. She admitted that now she was starting to see what she was doing and the message it was sending.

With permission from her boss, we worked together for about 3 months with my 1-on-1 coaching system. She wanted to do the right thing now that she was aware and realized the impact it was having.

It didn’t take Suzanne long to change those habits. It wasn’t easy, but she was dedicated and she also got others involved by giving them permission to tell her when she was “meddling.” They all lightened up about the matter and it made it that much easier to help Suzanne. Suzanne worked on all 4 of the steps below, but the most work for her was in step 4.

These are 4 simple steps you can take immediately to start building trust:

  • Connect. Make eye contact. Be in the present moment with them. This is powerful and very under-rated. There is a pureness, a genuineness, a connectedness that helps people feel truly valued.

  • Be transparent. Share things so people understand the why, the bigger picture, the effects. Be your genuine self - it is the most attractive thing you can do. People believe in and trust people they admire.

  • Be vulnerable. Be human. Be real. Share your trials and tribulations. Help others see that it’s ok to make mistakes or feel angry. And help them see how you deal with mistakes, how you learn and grow from each experience.

  • Let go. Give people the opportunity to be trusted. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. Be there to support them, not condemn them.

Read more on this topic in Chapter 3 of my book, Leading with GRIT®.


I have a wide range of products available to help leaders be better leaders. Click here to learn more and schedule your free consult so we can assess your needs! 

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