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Graphic title for How to Develop Trust Between Leaders and Teams

How to Develop Trust Between Leaders and Teams


Visualize a workplace where high trust is evident. What does a high trust environment look like? First, you are likely to witness happy, engaged and productive teams. They many not necessarily be in the same physical location to be collaborating on a project. Or you may find that very few supervisors are present or required to provide inspiration and feedback. Trust is intangible. It is a bond created by individuals from the moment information is shared, a task is assigned or a job description is provided. It is an integral element of successful professional relationships at all levels.

How are bonds of trust broken? In almost every instance, the trust breakdown occurs when leaders or managers cannot let go. Despite hiring individuals who have the credentials and capabilities to do a job well, many leaders cannot resist the temptation to unnecessarily hover over the shoulder of an employee or micromanage to such an extent that the risk permanent damage to the relationship. Delegation is a skill that should not be confused with “abdication”. Assigning responsibilities, when done correctly, can empower, inspire and motivate people to excel in their role. And one of the greatest benefits when empowering others is building a more trusting relationship.

Another common example of diminishing or breaching trust is sharing confidential information despite confirming a mutual understanding between two that the details are to remain private. Or, during an informal or formal performance review, a manager may cite specific examples of performance issues, followed by a commitment on the part of the employee to change his or her behaviour, yet both parties fail to follow through. Either the employee repeats the behaviour or the manager fails to consistently address the problem. Once trust is broken, it is extremely difficult to re-earn. Conversely, by being cognizant of the value of high trust relationships leaders can enhance their reputation, build greater rapport and achieve greater engagement levels that they desperately seek.

This article is a partial transcript of a video on YouTube.

Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at