Trust Your People

If you want to get the most out of your team, you’ve got to communicate that you trust your people. Yet when it comes to trust, it’s not just about what you say but how you demonstrate this value through your actions. For example, make the choice to avoid questioning the everyday minutia of your people’s jobs. This will help prove you believe in your workers. Also, inspire them to take more matters into their own hands. Proactive habits like these empower, while overly controlling ones will drive your people to spend their precious time keeping you off their backs. Since the last thing you want is to be perceived as a control freak, look for opportunities to let go and release that need. Remember, trusting your people goes hand in hand with being a Disciplined Leader. Trust your team and you’ll not only foster employee morale, growth, and productivity but also attract the best and brightest talent throughout the course of your leadership.

Here are three surefire ways to show your people you trust them:

Give employees more responsibility. Seek out those on your team who have consistently hit their goals, identifying who has the potential to take their abilities to that next level. Then develop fresh ways to challenge them and push their limits of professional growth. It could be encouraging them to earn a beneficial credential or take on a high-profile project—whatever the new goal, make it something that will stretch their comfort zone in a healthy way and demonstrate that you genuinely care about investing in their professional development.

Delegate important assignments. When you think about delegating tasks to others, don’t just hand off the menial grunt work to anyone and everyone. That won’t earn you high marks. While you may need to assign out help with such tasks, remember it’s equally if not more important to hand over important projects or jobs to your people as well. The key here is to always delegate these important jobs to the right people, avoiding the common tendency to stretch people beyond what they can do. Just like with hiring, delegate effectively and with your goals in mind. Carefully assess your talent, select the right people from that pool, and then assign them the right jobs.

Get their opinions on key matters. One easy, oft-overlooked way to earn and keep your people’s trust is to show that what they think matters. So ask them! When it comes to business issues, particularly those in which they play a regular role, make sure to ask them what they think, what solutions they would offer, and how they would do things differently or better. Let them know that you’re going to them for answers because you trust them and value their input.

When facing tough times or a business crisis, how have you shown your people that you truly trusted them?


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