How To Gain The Trust Of Your Team Members

Walking into a new organization is a scary prospect. Not because you don’t know what to do. Or even how to do the work.

The scary thing is the question of whether or not your new team will trust you.

Gaining the trust of your team can be the life or death of your leadership.

You need the trust of your team

Why Trust Is Important

Moe Glenner, in his book Plus Change, says Trust is the glue in any relationship, personal or professional. Without trust there is no real relationship.

You may know leaders who rush right in and begin making changes. They throw out the old and bring in the new.

These leaders clean house and no one is safe.

That feeling of uneasiness around the leader persists for years. Seeing brash change makes people wary of new leadership.

People don’t want to follow a leader because they have to. People want to follow a leader because they know, like, and TRUST the leader.

Trust endears employees to us. Trust says they believe in your vision. Trust says I will follow you because you are looking out for me.

Trust makes people want to follow you.

How To Gain Trust

We know trust is the bedrock of any relationship. Whether that is our personal relationships or our business relationships. Trust is what makes things work

So, we need to know how to gain trust.

Do what you say you’re going to do: Want to earn trust? I’ve discovered the best way to earn trust, and this will seem like common sense, is to be trustworthy.

What does this mean? Being trustworthy means you do what you say you’re going to do.

You complete projects on time. You respond to requests in the time frame you set forth. You follow through.

Treat people with respect: The second best thing you can do to gain trust is to treat other people with respect. This can be another leader, your team, or someone else who is serving you (like a restaurant server).

When you begin to show respect to others, they begin to feel at ease. They know you’re not out to harm them. You’re there to lift them up.

Surround yourself with the right people: Do you remember growing up and your mother telling you that people will judge you by the people you associate with? Her saying was true.

By surrounding yourself with people of upstanding character and trustworthy traits, you become more trustworthy.

Heed mama’s advice. Be cautious of who you’re around.

Becoming Trustworthy Isn’t Hard

If you want to become trustworthy, the steps aren’t hard. You have to do what a trustworthy person will do.

Don’t cheat others. Don’t steal. Don’t stab others in the back.

Be a person of upstanding character. Be the one who tells the truth. Be a leader who does what he says he will.

This is how you will gain the trust of your team.

Question: What other ways can you gain the trust of your team? Share your strategies in the comment section below.

Setting The Example

Leaderships is influence. We must be able to inspire others to action.

There are leaders out there who constantly wonder what they can do to garner this action.

What must they do to see their teams respond? What must be said to see action? What must be done for results?

Do what needs to be done, set the example

This Stormtrooper knows how to set the example – Image by JD Hancock

In my experience, there’s one thing that will inspire others to take action. To go the extra mile. To bleed for the company.

What is this one thing leaders can do? It’s setting the example.

What Does It Mean To Set The Example?

Guys, this is fairly easy to figure out. Realizing what setting the example is doesn’t take a lot of work.

Setting the example means showing your team what needs to be done. In all you do, show off the traits of a model employee.

The Shattering Of Trust

It’s confession time. As a young person, I used to love comics. Like seriously love comic books.

Every Tuesday I would head to the local comic shops: Homerun Comics, Lange’s Sports Connection, Campus Sports, and one other comic book store I can’t recall the name of (But I can recall the owners, the location, and even the smell of the store).

Comics were huge to me. They also caused my trust to be shattered in a way that still sticks with me.

A love of reading and comic books with X-Man Beast

Image by Dashu Pagla

Even today, I can vividly remember the day my heart sunk and I was devastated. What could cause my young heart to be crushed?

The cause was a letter I received in the mail. It wasn’t a Dear John letter or a letter informing me of some tragic event.

You Can’t Rush Trust

Four years ago, I engaged in a relationship with a new client that held incredible promise. I completed a full insurance proposal to address additional insurance needs and presented the options for diversifying his accounts. If we were able to place these policies, it would represent the largest single transaction in my 10-year history. As I made the presentation, everything went perfectly and the options looked great.

The client didn’t take any of them.

Not a reduced option. Not a different option. None.

For a long time, I thought my efforts had been a huge waste of time.

Still, I maintained a relationship with the client and continued to help them with other, albeit smaller services. About two years later, I got a promising call.

“Matt, can you look into this for us again?”

Darth Vader’s Guide On What Not To Do In Business

Star Wars, being the veritable mine of awesomeness that it is, teaches a variety of lessons. Yoda teaches about determination and focus (“Do or do not; there is no try”). Vader proves that it’s never too late to be redeemed and forgiven. Han Solo shows that even if the odds are against your success (or survival), you can still make it work.

Darth Vader looking scary

Image via Pascal

Though you can derive many life lessons from this classic, there are also a few things Star Wars can teach us about business and some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Rule by Fear
The biggest leadership mistake Vader makes is punishment by force choke. He first uses it in the infamous “I find your lack of faith disturbing” scene, for someone who merely expresses an opinion he disagrees with. This act inspires fear in those he commands. Later on, he ends up killing a different admiral for making a simple mistake just before a significant battle with the Rebel Alliance. Between both of these situations, those under him are ruled by fear, knowing what will happen should they go against him or mess up.