The Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders

Leading with Trust: The Key to Team Performance and Engagement

June 28, 2024 Tonya D. Episode 20
Leading with Trust: The Key to Team Performance and Engagement
The Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders
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The Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders
Leading with Trust: The Key to Team Performance and Engagement
Jun 28, 2024 Episode 20
Tonya D.

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Ever wondered how to transform your team’s performance by simply building trust? This episode of the Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders offers invaluable insights into becoming the trusted leader your team needs. Learn the profound impact of authenticity, respect, and open communication, and how these elements can lead to a more innovative and productive work environment. We peel back the layers of leadership to expose the real consequences of a trust deficit, including misunderstandings, conflicts, and a toxic atmosphere, and provide practical strategies to overcome these challenges.

Join us as we share personal journeys and real-world examples that illuminate the importance of trust in leadership. Discover actionable tips, such as the significance of casual coffee chats and giving undivided attention during check-ins, to build stronger, more positive relationships with your team. By the end of this episode, you'll be equipped with the tools to boost employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Tune in to unlock the secrets of leading by example and fostering an environment where trust thrives and extraordinary results follow.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how to transform your team’s performance by simply building trust? This episode of the Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders offers invaluable insights into becoming the trusted leader your team needs. Learn the profound impact of authenticity, respect, and open communication, and how these elements can lead to a more innovative and productive work environment. We peel back the layers of leadership to expose the real consequences of a trust deficit, including misunderstandings, conflicts, and a toxic atmosphere, and provide practical strategies to overcome these challenges.

Join us as we share personal journeys and real-world examples that illuminate the importance of trust in leadership. Discover actionable tips, such as the significance of casual coffee chats and giving undivided attention during check-ins, to build stronger, more positive relationships with your team. By the end of this episode, you'll be equipped with the tools to boost employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Tune in to unlock the secrets of leading by example and fostering an environment where trust thrives and extraordinary results follow.

Speaker 1:

Have you ever been a part of a team and you just felt like there was no trust, even when it came to your leader? You felt like you just couldn't trust them. So you usually end up holding back information or having these feelings. Well, we want to make sure, as a leader, that you're not doing the same thing to your team, a leader that you're not doing the same thing to your team. Today's episode we're going to be talking about building trust as a new leader.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders, your go-to podcast for practical advice, insights and tools to help you lead your team to success. I'm your host, tanya D, and today we're diving into a crucial topic for any new leader building trust within your team. Trust is the foundation of any successful team. Without it, collaboration breaks down, innovation stalls and morale is in the toilet. As a new leader, establishing trust can be. It can be a challenge at times, but it's absolutely essential. It is a must. So let's explore why trust is important. We're going to talk about methods to build trust and how trust impacts your overall team's performance.

Speaker 1:

First things first the importance of trust. Trust isn't just a feel-good concept. It's a vital component of how teams when team members trust each other and their leader, they are more likely to communicate openly, to share ideas and to support one another. Trust fosters a positive work environment where individuals feel safe and seen and they're able to take risks and make mistakes and they know that their leader and team members or teammates are going to have their backs. Now, of course, a lack of trust does the exact opposite right. So, on the other hand, it can lead to misunderstandings, increased conflicts and a toxic work environment. I've been in a toxic work environment and that's definitely not something we want to create for our team. You see, when people don't feel that they can trust their leader, they end up holding back information, they start to work in silos, they get these little groups and they work outside of the team, and then they become disengaged and unmotivated. This has a direct impact on the productivity and the overall performance of the team and ultimately, it impacts business results. So it is essential, as a leader, that you have trust within your team. Now, there's several different ways you can build trust right, so we're going to talk about some of the methods to build trust. I am going to talk about the ones that I feel are specifically the most important ones. These are some of the methods that I have used in the past when building teams or when coming to a new team as a leader, and these are some of the ones that I use today within my business, and it's also some of the ones that I train new business leaders to develop. So, now that we understand the importance of trust, let's discuss these practical methods to build it. Here are some strategies that I've used.

Speaker 1:

The very first thing is to be authentic. It sounds easy it really does sound easy, but you'd be surprised at how many leaders lead within authenticity. You want to be yourself. You want to be genuine. You want to be transparent. You want your team, your peers, everyone within your business or organization to know what they're getting, no surprises. So you share your values, you share your vision, your goals with your team right. So you're opening up. You let them see the real you so that they know that you're not one way in one environment and another way at another environment. They know what they're getting all the time right. So you're not just the leader you think they want to see. This is who you are, and if there are some things about yourself that you don't like, this is an opportunity to change them that you don't like. This is an opportunity to change them. Authenticity breeds trust, because it shows people that you're not hiding anything, that you don't have anything to conceal. You are who you are. What you see is what you get. You talk to me on the phone, you talk to me face-to-face, you talk to me one-on-one in a group. It doesn't matter. I am who I am. So that's number one Be authentic, be yourself, bring the real you to work every single day.

Speaker 1:

The second thing is show respect. Now, this is huge. Respect is huge. It's definitely a two-way street. Okay, as a leader, a lot of times, we want people to trust us and to respect us, but we have to extend the same thing. There's a lot of talk about different generations in the workplace and how you manage millennials and how you manage you know if you are a Gen X and you know all of these things.

Speaker 1:

It boils down to trust and respect. You have to respect people regardless of their titles, regardless of their age. Respect is respect. You want to treat your team members with respect by valuing their opinions. Everyone has something that they bring to the table. That's why they are a part of your team, even if their opinion is not your opinion. You want to recognize their contributions. When they do something great, you want to say it right. You want to acknowledge it. You want to acknowledge it and then you want to address their concerns. You can't be the type of leader that kind of just let things fall to the wayside, thinking or hoping that they're going to resolve themselves. You have to hit it head on and you have to address their concerns. When people feel respected, they are more likely to respect. You value them and you respect them.

Speaker 1:

The third, the third key strategy, is communicate openly and honestly. So open and honest communication is a cornerstone of trust. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Trust Say what you mean, mean what you say. Keep your team informed about what's happening within the organization, within your business, and be transparent about challenges and decisions. So one of the things that we see a lot is that people hide information or they cover information, and what starts to happen is people don't trust you, right? So if I'm hearing things that are not coming from you now, I feel like you're hiding things.

Speaker 1:

There's going to be times in business, as a leader, that there's things that you can't share and you have to be forthcoming with that Right. When the time is right, when it's more appropriate, I'll share the information, but in the meantime, you're going to share as much information as possible. So you want that communication to be open and you want it to be honest. You want to encourage team members to voice their opinions because you want them to communicate with you openly and honestly. So you want to hear their concerns, you want to hear their opinions and you want to make sure that you are actively listening when you do this, not assuming they're going to say something, not thinking you know what they're going to say, but actively listening and hearing what it is that they are saying. This is another thing that fosters culture of openness and mutual trust, right? So what we're doing is we're telling them that I value what you say. What you say is important to me, and not only that. I am going to communicate with you as straightforward, honest and openly as possible.

Speaker 1:

That's number three. Number four let's talk about relationships, build relationships. I know, you know I remember early on in my career, one of the biggest things was that you had to be really careful about what you share with people, especially within corporate, and what I would say is share what you're comfortable sharing. Don't force yourself to share information, right? So, as a leader, you don't have to share all of your personal information you don't but you want to take the time to get to know your team members on a personal level, and what this may look like is understanding their strengths, their weaknesses and what motivates them. Right, and you can share some of the things about you. You can share your journey. You know how you got to where you got to. You want to build strong personal relationships, because this helps to build a sense of trust.

Speaker 1:

You want to have regular one-on-one meetings, right? This is a great way to connect one-on-one, individually with your team. Every meeting shouldn't occur in a group setting, right, so you can build relationships as a team, but you want to have one-on-one communication. You want to have those one-on-one meetings where you are able to build relationships. There's going to be some things that you may need to talk about directly or individually that won't necessarily be shared within a group. You may have some people that don necessarily be shared within a group. You may have some people that don't like sharing in a group, so you'll find that they don't have a lot to say in those group settings, but if you get the one-on-one, they'll have more to say and you can start to build that relationship. Again, this isn't trying to find out about all of their dirt and what's going on in their lives, and you're going to have people that are going to share at that level and you're going to have people that won't, and that is totally fine. But you do want to understand, kind of what makes them tick, what makes them drive, what do they like, what don't they like? It could be something as simple as how do they like to be rewarded? So when you are acknowledging them for their contributions, you understand what makes them feel good, how they like that to happen. So building relationships is number four. So building relationships is number four.

Speaker 1:

The fifth thing and final thing that I want to talk about during this segment is lead by example. Now, if you really want to build trust, it's about your actions. Trust is built through actions. It's not just words, right? So we can say, oh, I'm a good leader, I'm a great leader, but what do we exhibit? We can say, oh, I'm a good leader, I'm a great leader, but what do we exhibit? We can say, oh, trust us, but until you show them that you can be trusted, you're not going to be trusted. So remember that it goes way beyond words. It's about the actions. You want to demonstrate integrity, accountability and reliability in everything that you do. You want to consistently show up in a way that builds trust, in a way that's authentic and shows who you are. If you make a mistake which you will, because we're all human own up to it and show how you plan to correct it. Again, here we are talking about being honest, having integrity. That's a part of leading with examples. So that's a part of leading by example.

Speaker 1:

One of the things I want to share is that when I first started in leadership, I thought I had to be perfect, right. Like I got people that look up to me. I can't be me, right. I had to be this perfect person, you know, and the perfect person does not exist. And then you know I had this thing about oh, if I make mistakes, what are they going to think about me? They're going to think that I don't know what I'm doing, and part of that is because I was a young leader. I was in my early twenties. I had people that were double my age reporting to me. And then, eventually, as I grew in leadership and I matured in leadership, I had people that were younger than me, so I was always conscious or cognizant of what people would think, and then eventually, I learned that I'm just going to be me. And when I just started showing up as my authentic self meaning mistakes and all you know what I mean and everything that is when my team performance soared. They were like. They saw that I was human. I made mistakes, just like they made mistakes. I owned up to those mistakes and we figured out how to move on.

Speaker 1:

So you want to lead by example. Your team will respect and trust you more when they see you living up to your values and expectations. So if you have a certain bar for your team, you need to be walking that tightrope as well. Now, trust is great, right, but let's really talk about the impact that trust has on team performance, because it is amazing what can happen when your team trusts you.

Speaker 1:

So building trust isn't about creating a pleasant work environment. Although it does create a pleasant work environment, it has tangible benefits for team performance. When trust is present, team members are more willing to collaborate, share knowledge and support each other. This leads to higher levels of innovation and problem solving, because people aren't afraid to speak up and contribute. They know that they're being heard, they know that they're going to be acknowledged. Trust also enhances employee engagement and satisfaction. So when people feel trusted and trust their leader, they're more likely to be committed to their work and motivated to achieve their goals. This results in increased productivity and lower turnover rates, which is always a good thing. Also, trust improves conflict resolution. So in high trust environments, team members are more likely to address conflicts directly and constructively rather than letting the issues just fester. And a lot of times they do it on their own, they don't even need the leader. So this leads to quicker resolutions and, you know, a better workplace and a work environment.

Speaker 1:

So just by you building that trust, just by you creating a culture of trust, it does all of these things right. So you are helping to build the foundation and the culture of the business and the organization. Your team is going to take hold of that and they will run with it. So let's bring these concepts to life right. So we talked about a couple of the different things, but let's look at a few real world examples and additional tips. How do you take the information that I've shared with you and apply it today going forward in business.

Speaker 1:

So the first thing when we talked about authentic leadership, right, consider sharing more. Now, I understand how this may sound. I am an introvert, so when we talk about sharing more, I'm like, ah, but you want to share things that come natural to you, that you can naturally share. So some of the things that I would share is I would share. Like I mentioned earlier, I would share my personal journey, how I got to where it is that I got to, because a lot of times I had people on my team that wanted to be in leadership at some point in time. I would talk to them about what that looked like, how I got to where I got to. I even share some of the challenges you know that occurred during this journey. You know now I'm communicating, I'm being open, I'm being honest. They're starting to let their guards down and feel that they can trust me. So you can talk about your career path, challenges, lessons that you've learned. You know what I mean. So now they see that you are being vulnerable and authentic, which helps to build trust, and then they start to open up, right, when we're talking about respect. You know what I mean. So think about ways that you can show respect.

Speaker 1:

Another thing is, when someone's talking, let them talk, you know, especially if it is on topic, if it is what you're talking about Now. Granted, if you're holding a meeting and they're discussing something that's not related, you can ask them, you know, in a nice way that's a little bit off topic, let's put that in the parking lot and if we have time, at the end we'll circle back to it Then. That way they know you heard them. They understand that it's not about what you're talking about, but that you will come back to them and address whatever, um, that con concern was or whatever it was that they were discussing. So you want to find ways to kind of play out how you can, how you can do this right. You know what I mean when we're talking about building relationships.

Speaker 1:

An example would be outside of the one-on-ones, where you are talking about work, you could have something that I implemented was coffee chats, right, so I would schedule. I would schedule meetings with different team members, you know, first thing in the morning over my coffee, and we just have a 10, 15 minute. You know coffee chat where we just talk. It's just like a touch in, like a check-in how are you doing? Is there anything that I can help you with? You know what I mean. If they had shared something with me, you know, then I'd ask how that's going.

Speaker 1:

You know, sometimes people with kids, they like to share things about their kids or if they're going to school. You know, you kind of just check in to see how things are going and it's just really casual conversation, not necessarily about work. Sometimes it bleeds over into you know work. They may be working on a project hey, how's it going? Is there anything that I can help you with those types of things? And that is building relationships. People know that you care. Right, they're on the calendar. This is their time. I'm not on my phone doing those conversations. I'm not, you know, checking email doing those conversations. They have my undivided attention, which in this day and age, is huge when you give somebody that type of attention. So those are just some ways that you can put it into play right now, because I want you to take this and actually use it and let me know how it goes right. So you know there's so many different things that you can do to implement this right now with your teams. Just make sure you use it. So that is it right.

Speaker 1:

So we've talked about building trust within teams. I've given you some. You know why. We've talked about why it's important. We've talked about ways to build trust within your team, the impact that trust has on team performance, and then we also talked about some things that you can do, some real world examples, some things that you could do right now, today, to implement this with your teams.

Speaker 1:

So that is it, and just in closing, I'd like to say that building trust as a new leader is a journey and it takes time, effort and consistency. By being authentic, showing respect, communicating openly and honestly, building relationships and leading by examples, you can lay a strong foundation of trust within your team. Remember, trust is the glue that holds a team together and it enables us to achieve extraordinary results. So take the time to invest in building trust and you'll see the benefits reflected in your team's performance and in their morale. Thank you for tuning in to the operations toolbox for business leaders. If you found this episode helpful, please share it with your network and subscribe to our podcast for insights and practical advice. Until next time. I'm Tanya D and I wish you great success in your leadership journey.

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