Trust and confidence are essential ingredients for a successful team and workplace. And right now, we need it more than ever! Our rapid pace of life and work, combined with constant change, make trust and confidence in the workplace hard to come by.
But, if leaders can instill a sense of trust and confidence, they will have higher-performing and happier teams.
Why Trust is Good for Teams
And this is backed up by research! Google ran a study to look at what made some teams more effective than others. After looking at several variables, they realized that it came down to one thing: psychological trust.
Psychological trust means:
- Employees could admit to mistakes without fear of punishment.
- Teams were vulnerable and able to ask for help.
- Appropriate challenges were made when needed.
Teams that trusted each other and were confident in leadership outperformed those who didn’t.
Eight Ways to Increase Trust and Confidence at Work
Trust and confidence won’t just happen on their own. Leaders need to set up an environment where they thrive.
Here are eight ways for leaders to develop trust and confidence in the workplace:
Be clear on your culture of mistakes:
Mistakes are inevitable in the workplace, so how does your organization handle them? There can be a culture of hiding mistakes, minimizing them, or blaming other people. Some organizations, though, view mistakes to learn and growth. This mindset allows your employees to have confidence in their role and trust that they won’t be punished for their errors.
Evaluate your feedback system:
Like how organizations handle mistakes is their culture of giving feedback. Some can be very harsh and direct, while others might avoid giving feedback altogether. One way to frame feedback constructively is to ask what can be done better next time. This allows an employee to participate in the problem-solving process and inspires trust that there will, in fact, be the next time!
Deal with issues in a timely manner:
If issues arise, deal with them. If you wait too long, you may blindside an employee, which destroys any trust you have built. All issues, challenges, and problems should be dealt with in a timely manner so that employees are confident that those important things will be addressed.
Give credit where it’s due:
Nothing destroys trust more than a leader taking credit for something they didn’t do. A confident leader can shine a light on others, which nurtures trust on the team.
This comes down to treating people equally as well as being consistent in your emotional regulation. If there is any real or perceived inconsistency, favoritism, or perceived inequality, it’s hard to build trust.
Good leaders are good listeners. Each employee needs to know that they are valued for their contributions and that their perspective is respected. Leaders don’t to agree with everything people say, but they do need to listen well and show value to their employees—this builds trust in the working relationship.
Lead with questions:
Leaders need to make a mindset shift. Instead of being the one who holds all the answers, what are some things they don’t know? There is always room to grow and learn, so leading with questions signals humility to the team, which in turn inspires trust.
Check your body language:
Evaluate your body language—does it signal that you are open and trustworthy? Or are you closed off and disengaged? Body language can set the tone for interactions in the workplace, both positively and negatively.
These eight steps are action items for any leader to take to increase trust and confidence in the workplace. By consistently applying these techniques, you will start to see more effective, high-performing teams in the workplace!
Today’s EQ Workout
Review the 8 ways to increase trust and confidence mentioned above. Which of them comes easy for you? Which is more difficult and needs more of your attention? You may also like this YouTube video I recently recorded which explores today’s topic in more depth.