We do crazy things to gain the trust of our teams. Think about it. Have you ever participated in a trust fall?
For young leaders, building trust starts with incorporating a few phrases in their communication with team members. These phrases demonstrate respect for their team members, a foundational element for building trust.
Let’s take a look at them:
- Tell me your story. When you know that someone views you as just a number or a cog in a machine, it becomes difficult to trust that person. Why? Because you know that you are disposable to them. So connect with your team on a personal level. Sit down with them and ask them to tell their story. It is an open-ended request that can deliver a rich monologue. You will learn about them, and they will know it.
- What do you think? Fair or not, your older team members probably believe that you don’t care about their thoughts. How do you overcome this perception? Ask them what they think. Solicit their input. You may be surprised to see them jump on the opportunity. And they will likely provide you with some really good thoughts.
- I need your help. You do. You really do need their help. And your team needs to hear it. A leader needs his or her team. Leadership is about them, not you. It is about their success. When they are successful, you are successful.
- How can I help you? When distrust is present, it feels like you against them. Skepticism abounds. Motivations are questioned. Demonstrating a willingness to come alongside them and helps break through this seemingly competitive scenario. It tells your team member that their work matters to you and the organization, that you are on their side.
- I trust you. In order to be trustful of you as the leader, they have to believe that you trust them.
- Thank you. Showing gratitude is incredibly easy and powerful. As a leader, you should never underestimate what a simple “thank you” can do. Tell your team members that you are grateful for them. Look for opportunities to say “thank you.”
Building trust is critical for young leaders. And the good news is that you don’t have to do it through a trust fall. It can start with five simple phrases.