7 Ways Strong Leaders Build Trust in a Team

by Samuel Edwards – @samuel_quincy

Patience: It’s tempting to want to rush things as much as possible, especially if your business is new or young, but that level of impetuousness creates an uncomfortable environment for you team. Take your time in your thoughts and actions, and express understanding when things go wrong.

Calm: You’re going to face some emotionally challenging moments as a leader, and often as a direct result of your team’s actions. The minute you fly off the handle at anything, whether it’s a team member or circumstances beyond any of your control, your team will start to see you as unstable. They’ll be afraid to come to you with negative information or criticism.

Transparency: If you make yourself vulnerable and express something in confidence to your team, they’ll be more or less inclined to reciprocate. Remain as transparent as possible in your actions as a leader, letting your team know what you’re thinking, the motivations behind your direction, and any doubts or concerns you may have.

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Openness: Establish an open environment, where all team members are encouraged to express their thoughts and opinions. Facilitate conversation by allowing every team member to speak, and make sure all your other team members show respect and listen to each other.

Flexibility: When workers feel more comfortable in the workplace, they’ll treat it almost as a second home, and they’ll treat their coworkers a bit like family members. You can allow more time for personal breaks, establish flexible hours or remote work days, or offer negotiable deadlines on certain projects and tasks.

Mutual feedback: When you give your workers honest feedback (positive or negative, so long as it’s constructive), it shows that you’re genuinely invested in their development. When workers give you feedback and you sincerely listen to it, they’ll feel more empowered, and more secure in their positions.

Ongoing team exercises: Your teammates need to get to know each other on a personal level, at least to some degree, if they’re going to trust and support one another. Every team member is unique, and they’ll need to engage with the group to account for one another’s strengths and weaknesses.

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