I made a short list of some not so obvious methods that some of the leaders of teams I’ve been working with have successfully used recently to build trust on their teams. Here they are:
- They instigate uncomfortable conversations during team meetings, instead of waiting and having a side conversation later.
- They make decisions with the team present instead of in separate conversations OR they immediately inform the team of decisions made and the rationale behind decisions when it was not practical for the team to be present.
- They share one of the following in some shape or form: they want to do better as the leader of the team, they don’t always know how to do it, they’re sorry for past behavior, they’ve been frustrated, it’s been tough for them, etc.
- They set aside time in person to have substantive conversations as a team about how the team is showing up in meetings, what needs to improve, what healthy behaviors look like, and how the team can get better.
- They ask some variation of “how can I do better” as the leader of the team.
This isn’t a complete list and there may be a little nuance with some of the above but that’s what I’ve witnessed. What have you seen?