Updated: Apr 12, 2020
In part one of this article, we discussed the first time-tested strategy to help you as a Managers, or any other leadership role, to mitigate the stressors negatively impacting your team and care for your people.
In part two, we covered the second strategy, creating a supportive team culture with accountability and flexibility.
In the third and final part of this article, we dive into developing trust with and within team members.
We conclude this series by bringing it all together, provoking thought, and motivating you to execute these techniques.
Develop Trust—As a Two-Way Street
As the third strategy, developing trust as a two-way street can be a toughie for many Managers.
How do you build trust with your team? Here are a few examples:
Be honest. Do as you say and say as you do.
And if you can’t, be transparent about it. This example speaks to your character and integrity—being impeccable with your word. Similarly, let your team know that you expect them to be forthright and open with you. And when they do, be receptive, coach them as needed, and work through the problem together.
Connect with team members.
Get to know your team and let them get to know you. The familiarity creates a healthy team dynamic that’s inclusive and where it feels safe to voice opinions, professionally and respectfully. Let them know you are human too. E.g., inquire about how their family is doing, about their weekend, hobbies, share your insights about an article or book you read, etc. As you learn about them, you’ll assess what motivates them, how to influence their performance in positive ways, and how to best mentor and coach them when they need it.
Be proactive with your feedback.
With their best interest at heart, let your team know what they are doing well and the areas where they need to improve. Highlight their strengths so they can leverage them to thrive in their roles. When providing constructive feedback, focus on the fatal flaws, those habits, or attributes that could derail their success and negatively impact their effectiveness. You may use a format that incorporates this type of message: Ginny, continue ______ (fill in the blank with strengths) and consider ________ (fill in the blank with areas to improve). As a bonus, team members will be learning from you how to give each other constructive feedback and grow as a team.
Ask for feedback.
In addition to providing feedback, ask team members for their feedback. It could be as simple as asking or sending a two-line email, e.g., Ginny, it’s very valuable for me to know how I could improve. To support you and the team, what should I continue doing? What should I stop? All feedback raises your self-awareness. Look for common themes in the feedback and, to build trust, follow-through by adjusting your approach or behavior accordingly.
Bringing It All Together
Leading and managing a workforce, remote, globally, across demographics, etc., especially during a global crisis, can be challenging on many levels.
Successful managers and leaders are powerful communicators.
They not only communicate about specific assignments and deliverables but also about the strategic vision and mission of the organization. Give clear direction and communicate expectations proactively.
They also know their unique value proposition and that of their team members, and capitalize on it to get the work done, deliver on the organization’s brand promise, and care for their people.