All human groups rely on trust to be functional and survive. It’s no different in the workplace. In order for leaders to be influential they must be willing to be vulnerable. That’s right. Are you able to show your trust in others by being vulnerable to them? Few leaders have the courage to do so and still get by. But the most influential leaders establish a mutual bond of trust and respect with staff that translates to a more relaxed and productive working environment.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep yourself in good standing with staff:
- Ask advice: Show your vulnerability to your team. Nobody has all the answers. If you are embarking on a new project, or facing a new change in the workplace, offer your team a chance to speak up during meetings or, as ideas gel, ask that they send an email or put an anonymous suggestion in a physical suggestion box on your desk or in the break room. In so doing, you are establishing a chain of trust and reinforcing your needs to your team that their ideas count. Keep in mind more quiet people may have the best ideas, so watch that suggestion box.
- Communicate. Good communication relies on trust. Next meeting, thank your staff for their comments and remind them how useful their continued feedback is. Review each comment with positive remarks on each one. Discuss as a team any ideas to act on now.
- Action Plan: Put into action a few of the ideas derived from the feedback.
- Offer Variety of Ways for Continuous Feedback: Just as you may hesitate to give your email address right away to a website, or fill in their cookie cutter form, so may some staff members be hesitant to send into cybersphere their info. Feedback options should include simply using a pencil and paper and putting an anonymous suggestion into a box without fear of judgment or repercussion. And if you get an email, that’s fine too.
- Stay Consistent: Keep consistent between words and actions. Don’t play favorites or cliques will form. Involve everyone in decision making.
- Avoid gossip and sarcasm: Gossip is an instant way to erode people’s trust in you. If they gossip about one person they are gossiping about you. People who make sarcastic remarks are often speaking their opinions. And when they go too far they say, “I’m only kidding.” You’ve seen it in your family and personal life. It’s no different at work. If you notice your team members exhibit these behaviors, ask them to keep it out of the office place to keep things peaceful.
- Have fun! Celebrate everyone’s birthday. Keep the tradition going. No business can truly claim they are a “family”, nor should they, but celebrating everyone’s birthday shows everyone they matter. Team building games are also a great way to forge bonds.
Sound good? Call Venture Up at 888-305-1065 for a customized game to help your team celebrate and build bonds. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org for quick response.