How a leader can show he/she is trustworthy and facilitate relationship among team members


#1

How can leaders create a climate of trust and facilitate relationships among people in a work team? What can a leader do to show others he/she is trustworthy? What can a leader do to demonstrate he/she trusts others? Use and cite scholarly articles as necessary to support your answer.


#2

Trust enables a team to work efficiently to accomplish mutual goals and maintain a good morale when doing so. Without trust, they are just a group of individuals working together often deviating from achieving from the required objectives. Lack of trust invites problems like scepticism, holding information to self or a limited number of people, uneven distribution of responsibilities, lack of cooperation and support among team members and gossiping among others. Even if the group consist of the most talented of people, without trust, they are merely a group of brilliant people who would rather put in single efforts in hopes of achieving success than working collectively. Trust is like an adhesive that binds the whole group together making them a team that share common goals, mutual commitment and joint accountability. According to Aubert and Kesley, trust can facilitate the exchange of information and reduce control and its associated costs, as well as make relationship more efficient ( Zidane, Hussein, & Ghazinejad, 2018).

Trust provides a sense of security to the team members. And when the team feels safe, they are able to open up, become vulnerable and dare to take risks. Otherwise, they are just protecting themselves and making excuses for the works undone. They would hesitate to own up the work. A leader needs to take upon various ways to inculcate trust in their subordinates.

Be open about yourself

Communication is crucial for laying the foundation of trust. A leader has to be transparent to their subordinates. Bluntly sharing them your ideas, being truthful about everything, sharing personal stories, admitting when you are wrong and being humble are some of the things that a leader can do to gain trust of the employees. When a leader is admitting that they made certain mistakes and owning up to it, others too will not shy away from taking accountability of their deeds. It is always easy to function when people are accountable for their actions be it favourable or not.

Strengthen the employees

When employees are urged to work and come up with ideas instead of just following the orders, they are able to grasp a better understanding of what they can deliver and what they can’t.

Besides, acknowledging your team members whenever they do something good inspires them to continue doing that. Giving credit is something leaders can do that would help them gain trust of their employees. These sort of activities that may look small not only leads to employees trusting their leader but also implicate the trust, a leader has towards his employees.

Paving a way for effective communication

It is always the free minds that is the most creative. It is only when people are allowed to express themselves freely without the fear of being judged, that they can truly communicate what they actually feel. It gives them room to consider new ideas. Leaders should enable, support and mentor the employees. When, the leader starts listening to the employees, and provides space for them to freely question the authority, then, people start trusting the leader. On the other hand, the leader too has to communicate the philosophies and priorities effectively, involve them in the decision making and provide them with sufficient information enabling them to make appropriate decisions about their work and release control (Kinjerski & Skrypnek, 2006). Through two- way communication, parties are able to obtain a better understanding of dilemmas and challenges being faced by the other, have opportunities to explain and reassess their actions along with the underlying factors that led to such behaviour (Bligh, 2016). The existence of effective two way communication helps build trust among each other.

Doing the right thing

Leaders are the role models for the employees. They are someone who would model the way for the subordinates. They have the “celebrity” image in an organization. Even the smallest thing they do are constantly being noticed by others. It is therefore crucial for leaders to act in a right manner. Whenever there are arguments between employees, leaders should urge them to discuss, put forward their views, and prospect the possible solution and not judge them based on past experiences, personal prejudices or by being biased. Making the right decision makes the leader as someone whom the employees can trust upon.

Trust plays a critical role in leadership. It may not be wrong to say that trust is the root of all “great leadership”. Leaders who avoid connecting with the employees are less successful in managing the organization than the ones who communicate and build a trustworthy relationship with the employees.

References

Zidane, Y.-T., Hussein, B., & Ghazinejad, M. (2018). Impact of Trust, Commitment, and Openness on Research Project Performance: Case Study in a Research Institute , 1-5.

Bligh, M. C. (2016). The Role of Trust in Leader-Follower Relationships. Springer.

Kinjerski, V., & Skrypnek, B. (2006). Leadership & Organization Development Journal. Creating organizational conditions that foster employee spirit at work , 280-290.


#3

Trust is important to any leader as it fosters teamwork resulting in synergic productivity improving the goal of the organization. “By contrast, individuals and organizations that have earned and operate with high trust experience a dividend that is like a performance multiplier, enabling them to succeed in their communications, interactions, and decisions, and to move with incredible speed - high-trust companies outperform low trust companies by nearly 300 percenti. Covey, S. M. R. (2011)”

Trust is a two way street. You cannot expect trust when you do not give it. For a leader to foster a climate of trust and facilitate relationship, he/she must first extend their trust toward the followers. In other words they must take a leap of faith by trusting them all the while modelling the way for other to trust him in turn.

“Our simple definition needs to be extended to take into account that trust must be built, and it must be earned over a span of time by listening, talking, asking questions and "walking the talk. Beslin, R., & Reddin, C. (2004)"

Trust cannot be gained overnight but built over time slowly and steadily with deliberate actions. Some ways in which a leader can create a climate for trust and facilitating relationship are

  • Model the way by sharing your own dreams in life, your fear, struggle and motivation to do what you do.
  • Listen to the stories about their aspirations in life, their struggle, their expectations, their mistakes, their aspirations in life and their motivating factors. Be authentic and empathetic when listening. Listening helps you understand many things about your followers and what motivates them.
  • Be honest and never lie.
  • Be a servant leader. Serve your followers needs before yours.
  • Time and again repeat and clearly communicate the common goal.

Leaders should be able strive to show he is trustworthy through both his actions and thoughts. “Trust can often be the first hurdle to fall under pressure because leadership can be distracted away from the small, important interactions they need to sustain even in the most challenging times. Sparrow, J. (2013)” They can do so by

  • Designing jobs where the constituents can show off their strength and contribute to the goal of the organization.
  • Take decisions based on the importance to the organization and not on influence or hearsay.
  • Share information and details no matter how small to assist in performing with effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Educate and update the capacity of yourself and others.
  • Give clear and concise feedbacks on their work and help them improve their work.
  • Give due credit where and when they are required.
  • Give your time and listen to their problems both personal and official. Extend your help and support where and when possible without any strings attached.

It is important for a leader to understand that people cannot perform their best if they are doubting themselves, are felling weak and left out. Instead they must be empowered by delegating power and a sense of ownership. (Kouzes & Posner, 2003). Leader need to show that they trust their constituents’ time and again building confidence in them by

  • Delegate authority and allow them freedom to exercise power. Give space for them to take decision on their own showing your confidence in their decision making ability.
  • Ask question such as what we should be doing better, what we should stop doing, what changes should me made or added etc. Asking these questions will help them contribute to the project and give them a sense of ownership.
  • Challenge them with new targets or additional work to bring out the best in them.
  • Build up on their ideas instead of criticizing or shutting them down.
  • Encourage them to take risks and challenge the status quo in the organization.

These are some ways a leader can show his trust to his followers.

References

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2003). The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. In B. P. Jim Kouzes, Leadership Challenge Workbook (First Edition ed., p. 13). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint.

Beslin, R., & Reddin, C. (2004). How leaders can communicate to build trust. Ivey Business Journal (Online), Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/216174340?accountid=158986

Covey, S. M. R. (2011). Build high trust. Leadership Excellence, 28(10), 13. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/903979744?accountid=158986

Sparrow, J. (2013). More than words: How leadership can build trust at a practical level. Strategic HR Review, 12(6), 313-316. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1461357187?accountid=158986


#4

Trust in an organization is very important within the team. It enhances the productivity of the team and enables team to accomplish anything they set as targets. Without trust in one another, no team can get anything done (Reed, 2001). So, as a leader, it’s important to show subordinates how crucial trust is by setting an example of oneself and demonstrating that you as a leader trust your subordinates and the colleagues.

The leader can bring the team together and doing an exercise with regard to personal history to make people feel more comfortable at a personal level in the workplace. An example of this can be asking the team members to share few of the personal things about themselves like their worst nightmare, most challenging/difficult situations they’ve faced and what they did about it and share anything that someone in the room doesn’t know about yourself. The leader can take a lead and start off by answering the questions himself, which gives the other member of the team confidence and motivation boost as well ("Team Building, Inter-agency Team Development and Social Work Practice", 1990). The exercise helps them to open up to each other and feel more comfortable by creating a trusting environment and open relationship with regard to work they’re doing.

The leader on the other hand can demonstrate that he/she is trustworthy by following through following few things:

  • Protecting the team when things doesn’t go as planned or when someone from other unit tries to put on more urgent work on top of what the individual is already finding hard to complete on time. This can be related in real life situation with the recent data leak news taking new heights and Mark Zuckerberg taking the credit for the action and making it clear that no one will be fired for that but he himself takes all the responsibility of the actions. That makes the team feel protected and the level of trust on the leader increases significantly.
  • Build accountable culture where the leader acknowledges all the mistakes as well successes. That makes the subordinates feel like their leader is credible and follow the lead. The leader can also build a culture around it by enabling frank discussions with the team after every project and such where areas of improvement, things that went well and things that didn’t go well all are discussed openly (Maruska, 2004).
  • Do what you want from your subordinates. As a leader to build trust, one can’t only give orders and not follow through it oneself so the leader must lead by an example. If the leader wants everyone to report to office on time, he/she can’t arrive late every single day.
  • Be consistent and keep your promise while working through it every moment of the day.

The leader should be able to demonstrate that he trusts every single subordinates of his/her. Doing this makes them feel empowered, confident and enables them to take the ownership of the work they’re performing to give the best they can while rallying behind the leader (Hurley, 2012). Here are few of the actions points with which the leader can demonstrate that he/she trusts others:

  • Let the team be involved in the discussion/planning when possible. This can also be accomplished by asking them what they think should be done for better process management, what the organization should stop doing and what should be added in the system for better result and other along the line. This enables them to have their say and take the ownership of the workflow while also feeling valued.
  • Identify the personality of the people and challenge them based on their skills to bring out the best within them. This can be done through proving challenging works or by providing them with training opportunities and alike.
  • Build in the ideas rather than discrediting and blocking it out straight away.
  • Allow the rights to exercise power and delegate authority without conflicts on the same/similar roles. Also, enable them to take risk for the growth of the individual himself/herself and the organization.

References

Hurley, R. (2012). The trustworthy leader: The first step toward creating high-trust organizations. Leader To Leader , 2012 (66), 33-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ltl.20047

Maruska, D. (2004). Making great team decisions. Leader To Leader , 2004 (33), 38-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ltl.87

Reed, M. (2001). Organization, Trust and Control: A Realist Analysis. Organization Studies , 22 (2), 201-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840601222002

Team Building, Inter-agency Team Development and Social Work Practice. (1990). The British Journal Of Social Work . http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a055676


#5

Trust is a cultural norm that is an outcome of good management. It is developed by mutual understanding of expectations of the employers and employees. Trust is the ultimate key to being an inspiring leader. The climate of trust in organizations make people feel empowered. However both the employers and employees are responsible for creating the climate of trust within an organization. Regular communications between leaders and employees is required to build trust, rapport and empower people to be the best they can be (HR Asia, 2016).

Trust and relationship go hand in hand. However, it does not come with the title. It needs to be earned (Robins, 2017). Creating the climate of trust and facilitating relationship helps in enabling others to act. In order to develop climate of trust and facilitate relationships, leaders need to invest in trust, be the first one to trust, show concern for others, share knowledge and information, develop co-operative roles and goals, support norms of reciprocity, structure projects to promote joint effort and support face-to face interactions (Kouzes & Poner, 2012).

The following activities help leaders in creating climate of trust and facilitating relationships:

  • Putting the interests of organization and constituents ahead of one’s interests.
  • Articulating and frequently repeating the common goal that everyone is striving to achieve.
  • Sharing values that are important and reinforcing the larger purpose of which everyone is a part of.
  • Structuring projects in a way that requires co-operation to achieve the common goal.
  • Making sure that people understand how they are interdependent with one another.
  • Finding ways to get people together face-to- face.
  • Spending time getting to know about the constituents.
  • Showing concern for the problems and aspirations of others in the team.
  • Sharing information about personal strengths, hopes, mistakes and aspirations with the team members.
  • Listening to understand, not to judge.

For a leader to show others that he is trust worthy, he needs to demonstrate passion by participating in work related activities, maintain transparency by sharing knowledge and information, admit to the mistakes and share credit, keep promise by doing what is said, communicate effectively and know employees personally (Robins, 2017). Being good at what they do, showing passion about their work, operating with self-awareness, caring about people, wanting the best for constituents, listening, having perspective, managing direction and work, not the people and seeing beyond self help a leader to gain trust of others (Russell, 2012). In addition, leaders need to lead by example, stop blaming others, discourage cliques and discuss trust issues to build trust (Mindtools, n.d.).

For example: If a leader says he will be in the office to discuss about the latest development in the project and do not show up without informing anyone, the team members won’t believe him from the next time and he fails to gain trust of the constituents. Similarly, if the leader is concerned with individual gain and do not show any interest in knowing about constituents, he cannot be trustworthy.

Trust should be reciprocated. If a leader wants to demonstrate he is trust worthy, he should show that he trusts other members in the team as well. Often times, lack of self-awareness, risk- averse by design and bottom line mentality prevents leaders from trusting others. To overcome this and show the team members that they are trusted, a leader should be communicating openly and honestly, eliminating suspicions of bias, pushing the employees for needed change, carefully giving up control and investing in employee development. When a leader grant resource authority to employees with certain toleration of mistakes and let them know that he is willing to invest in their potential by knowing their aspirations make the employees feel trusted (Korsgaard, 2017). Involving people in the decisions that directly affect them and paying attention to relationships are also ways to show that a leader trusts others (Fast Company, 2012).

For example: If the leader assigns a team member with the responsibility of leading a particular department with full autonomy in operations and decisions of that department, the employee will feel trusted.

References

Fast Company. (2012, July 8). How Leaders Build Trust . Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/300204/how-leaders-build-trust

HR Asia. (2016, February 2). Tips for Leaders to Create a Climate of Trust Within Organizations .

Korsgaard, M. A. (2017, May 5). Harvard Business Review . Retrieved from Managing People: Want Your Employees to Trust You? Show You Trust Them.

Kouzes, J. M., & Poner, B. Z. (2012). The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: A Wiley Brand.

Mindtools. (n.d.). Building Trust Inside Your Team . Retrieved from Ways to Improve Team Cohesion: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/buildong-trust-team.htm

Robins, A. (2017, April 28). Office Vibe . Retrieved from 8 Secrets for Building Trust as a Leader.

Russell, N. S. (2012, August). Psychology Today . Retrieved from 10 Ways Effective Leaders Build Trust: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trust-the-new-workplace-currency/2012/08/10-ways-effective-leaders-build-trust-0


#6

According to Ghazinejad, Hussein & Zidane (2018), trust can facilitate the exchange of information and reduce control and its associated costs, as well as make relationship more efficient. Trust enables a team to work efficiently to accomplish mutual goals and maintain a good morale when doing so. Without trust, they are just a group of individuals working together often deviating from achieving from the required objectives. Lack of trust invites problems like skepticism, holding information to self or a limited number of people, uneven distribution of responsibilities, lack of cooperation and support among team members and gossiping among others. Even if the group consist of the most talented of people, without trust, they are merely a group of brilliant people who would rather put in single efforts in hopes of achieving success than working collectively. Trust is like an adhesive that binds the whole group together making them a team that share common goals, mutual commitment and joint accountability.

Trust provides a sense of security to the team members. And when the team feels safe, they are able to open up, become vulnerable and dare to take risks. Otherwise, they are just protecting themselves and making excuses for the works undone. They would hesitate to own up the work. A leader needs to take upon various ways to inculcate trust in their subordinates.

1. Be open about yourself

Communication is crucial for laying the foundation of trust. A leader has to be transparent to their subordinates. Bluntly sharing them your ideas, being truthful about everything, sharing personal stories, admitting when you are wrong and being humble are some of the things that a leader can do to gain trust of the employees. When a leader is admitting that they made certain mistakes and owning up to it, others too will not shy away from taking accountability of their deeds. It is always easy to function when people are accountable for their actions be it favorable or not.

2. Strengthen the employees

When employees are urged to work and come up with ideas instead of just following the orders, they are able to grasp a better understanding of what they can deliver and what they can’t.

Besides, acknowledging your team members whenever they do something good inspires them to continue doing that. Giving credit is something leaders can do that would help them gain trust of their employees. These sort of activities that may look small not only leads to employees trusting their leader but also implicate the trust, a leader has towards his employees.

3. Paving a way for effective communication

It is always the free minds that is the most creative. It is only when people are allowed to express themselves freely without the fear of being judged, that they can truly communicate what they actually feel. It gives them room to consider new ideas. Leaders should enable, support and mentor the employees. When, the leader starts listening to the employees, and provides space for them to freely question the authority, then, people start trusting the leader. On the other hand, the leader too has to communicate the philosophies and priorities effectively, involve them in the decision making and provide them with sufficient information enabling them to make appropriate decisions about their work and release control (Kinjerski & Skrypnek, 2006). Through two- way communication, parties are able to obtain a better understanding of dilemmas and challenges being faced by the other, have opportunities to explain and reassess their actions along with the underlying factors that led to such behavior (Bligh, 2017). The existence of effective two way communication helps build trust among each other.

4. Doing the right thing

Leaders are the role models for the employees. They are someone who would model the way for the subordinates. They have the "celebrity” image in an organization. Even the smallest thing they do are constantly being noticed by others. It is therefore crucial for leaders to act in a right manner. Whenever there are arguments between employees, leaders should urge them to discuss, put forward their views, and prospect the possible solution and not judge them based on past experiences, personal prejudices or by being biased. Making the right decision makes the leader as someone whom the employees can trust upon.

Trust plays a critical role in leadership. It may not be wrong to say that trust is the root of all "great leadership”. Leaders who avoid connecting with the employees are less successful in managing the organization than the ones who communicate and build a trustworthy relationship with the employees.

References

Bligh, M. C. (2017). Leadership and trust. In Leadership Today (pp. 21-42). Springer, Cham.

Ghazinejad, M., Hussein, B. A., & Zidane, Y. J. T. (2018). Impact of Trust, Commitment, and Openness on Research Project Performance: Case Study in a Research Institute. Social Sciences, 7 (2), 22.

Kinjerski, V., & Skrypnek, B. J. (2006). Creating organizational conditions that foster employee spirit at work. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27 (4), 280-295.