Have you ever distrusted a boss? I know I have, and it is not a comfortable feeling. Trusting those to whom you report is critical for everyone’s welfare in today’s work environment, especially as we consider how difficult it is to trust in general today. Some struggle to trust those in leadership positions in government, religion, medicine, major corporations, and the media.
We worry that the emails we get are trust worthy, hoping as we click on them that the information we share will be safe and we won’t be inviting viruses into our operating systems. The same is true for phone solicitations. Have we really just pledged money to the Policemen’s Fund for Orphaned Children, or have we just been duped?
We even question if the images we view have integrity. I was looking at photos someone sent me via email the other day that were gorgeous, with colors that seemed unbelievably vivid and I wondered if what I was really looking at was something that had been doctored up with the help of PhotoShop.
Reasons to not trust are all around us and it is one of the most important reasons why, you as a manager and coach, need to be trustworthy. Trust needs to start somewhere.
Why not with you? Here are three ways to develop or deepen the trust you need to effectively work with your team as a coach.
- Be available – Keep your door open as well as your mind and heart when engaging with your staff. Stay focused on the conversation turning off phone ringers and email audio notifications, and the computer screen so you can remain engaged in the exchange, especially if it’s more than just a quick question you are addressing.
- Be authentic – What people want most from their supervisors and coaches is for them to be real. If you are having a rough day, let others know that. You don’t need to be specific about why the day is rough if you are not comfortable sharing this level of detail (and quite frankly, sharing deeply personal information may not be advisable in some situations), but let your staff know where your head is on any given day so they can be as supportive of you as you are with them.
- Adopt an attitude of generosity – Besides being generous with your time, be generous with the information you share about working conditions. I am a believer in over-communicating, leaving nothing to the imagination of employees whose imaginations tend to run wild in times of company crisis. This is not to say that you should divulge sensitive corporate information, but to say that you should communicate that there is a plan, what that plan is if appropriate, and that leadership has the situation under control. Also be generous with your praise of jobs done well. Be sure to recognize those who are working hard.
Trust is earned over time. With each focused meeting, honest discussion, and opportunity to share the vision and mission, know that you are one step closer to deepening the trust that your employees crave.
Question: Have you ever distrusted a boss? Why?
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