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Team Leadership 

7 Ways to Build Trust and Confidence with Your Team

Having a team that has trust and confidence built into it will be significantly more productive and creative than one that’s unhappy and cynical.

Many companies can have this problem for decades if they don’t institute a culture change to bring in and foster the right attitudes. Once a team no longer trusts management, and vice versa, it’s hard to bring back the same group of people and expect different results.

So how do you foster the right attitudes that are confident and trust worthy? Well, the first step is taking a long hard look at management. They drive the bus. If you’re in charge, you need to be doing all the right things to create this culture.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

This is the easiest way to start the trust train down the tracks. Many managers may not openly lie to their employees, but they might as well be if they’re not sharing the whole truth.

Let your team know what’s going on. Let them behind the curtain to see the ugly parts of the company. Tell them how things really are. You’ll find that teams usually respond positively to this.

They’re also the ones responsible for turning things around, so if you keep them in the dark, they may not know what’s at stake.

Being honest with employees is also a great way to retain them.

Ask Everyone for Input

Employees have great ideas sometimes. Make them feel valued by asking for their input. When people feel like they’re contributing to the bigger picture, it can really help in creating an environment that fosters confidence.

There are no stupid ideas. Ok, there are plenty of stupid ideas, but you don’t have to use every idea. The principal behind “there are no stupid ideas” is that every idea has value and they don’t need to be shot down. Let people know their feedback is important, and they’ll gain trust and confidence.

Be Consistent

As a leader, consistency is critical. There’s nothing worse than saying one thing, and doing another. Leaders that don’t lead by example have a tough time with this. They go by the do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do philosophy. This causes tremendous amounts of confusion, and kills trust and confidence.

It’s also important to be consistent in how you deal with the team. You can’t treat each team member differently.

That said, you can take things in to context when making decisions, but don’t leave it up to the team try to figure out why you’re doing things. Be clear.

For example, if a team member is getting special treatment, say what it’s for. Did they do something that deserved this reward? The team will celebrate with them. They’ll also try to achieve this reward for themselves. If you don’t explain yourself, you may seem inconsistent.

Involve The Whole Team

Whatever your goal, everyone has a stake when you involve the whole team. If you make them feel like every decision you make is influenced by them, they’ll feel the outcome is their responsibility.

No matter what project they’re working on, you don’t just want them striving to get through the day and earn another dollar. You want them thinking about the company as a whole.

Whenever a major decision has to be made, simply informing everyone and asking for input can go a long way towards acceptance. This fosters trust in the best way. Nothing is a surprise since the team was brought on board before the decision was even made.

Doing things as a team can help reduce the stress involved with any decision that’s being made. The shared responsibility makes everyone feel connected and the stress isn’t all on them. And we could all use less stress at work.

Group Achievements

This is a fantastic way to build trust and confidence no matter how strong or weak the team is. By rewarding everyone for the achievements made within the group, they’ll care a lot more about how each other is doing.

Giving rewards as a group will also allow them to celebrate together. Giving individual awards is ok once in a while, but doing so as a group really lets them celebrate as a team. It will really solidify them as a group working together for a common goal.

Don’t Lecture, Educate.

One of the best ways to become an effective leader, is to educate and motivate. IT’s really easy to stand in front of everyone and talk at them, but it’s not a great way to get them involved, motivated and properly educated.

Have the group teach themselves, and just guide them along the way. This will help build their confidence and slowly help them trust each other. As a leader you want to facilitate the natural talent of the team. You want to nurture their development and not just tell them things.

Telling people things is a great way to get them to zone out and to not have any real interest in what you’re saying to them.

Everyone is Equal

You, the team, and your boss should all be equals. Despite the pay and responsibility difference, you’re all on the same team. Try treating each other as co-workers and not just keeping the standard leader and follower arrangement.

This doesn’t mean allowing insubordination, but it does mean being inclusive when you’re looking for solutions to problems, creative ideas, and celebrating successes. A team that feels valued will build confidence and trust. Try to make friends with whole team. But do not become friends with just some members of the team.

Time is the key element here. Nothing happens in a day. You’ll need to constantly foster your relationship with your team to keep it growing in the right direction.

Trust and confidence both take a while to build up, but can be torn down in a day. Stay vigilant with your leadership and stick to your principles and you’ll find a loyal team waiting for you to lead every day.

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Patrick Cole

Patrick Cole is an entrepreneur and freelancer. He is also a contributing blogger for several websites. Patrick loves self-education and rock music. Connect with Patrick via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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