A few years ago, the gym that I go to was undergoing new ownership.
Without any prompting, I began thinking about possibly going to a new gym down the street.
That week in the locker room another gym member entered and was upset because his credit card had been hacked. Coincidentally, he had also used his credit that week to pay his bill at the gym. He, without any proof, linked his card being hacked to using it to pay his bill with the new gym owners.
In disgust the guy said, “If that’s how it’s going to be around here, I’ll take my membership elsewhere.”
Why did he feel that way?
Why did I consider finding a new gym?
What Was Lacking?
Trust had yet to be established.
If you want to dramatically move your team forward this year, establish trust.
By the way, I love what the new owners have done with the gym. Their style is different. Their personality is different. Actually, I love the direction they have taken it.
Your Team Members Need Trust to Thrive.
In the book The Speed of Trust, Covey suggests that a lack of trust will slow progress, but that building trust will accelerate everything.
What is trust? Ultimately, trust is confidence.
Have you ever bought something from an unfamiliar website?
If you’re like me, you first read reviews and checked shipping times to verify that the site was credible.
Now think about customers who use Amazon. They actually pay money to buy things faster using prime. They just click a button and have confidence that the items will arrive safely.
Why do people purchase so freely from Amazon? One subtle reason, trust has been established.
As Leaders We Must Extend Trust.
Your team members need trust to perform, excel and go to new levels. This may be difficult for you, but trust is essential to the growth of your team.
To extend more trust start by sharing responsibility incrementally. Let me explain with a brief story:
A couple years ago a lady named Stacey at my church was recommended to help lead outreach events.
The first event under her leadership, I really didn’t know what to expect. Sure, expectations were shared, but it was a new working relationship. But sure enough, when I showed up all everything was covered. She had thought of everything.
A layer of trust was established. Each event evoked more trust, all the way up to the Easter Egg Hunt. It was the tipping point.
While were loading vehicles with materials to set up a booth at the city-wide egg hunt, Stacey looked at me and said, “Can you grab that white chair too?”
It seemed like a strange request to me. The chair was not on our list of items to load up. I really didn’t want our volunteers sitting at our booth, I preferred for them to stand and to engage with the crowd. Nevertheless, I loaded the chair and didn’t say anything.
Twenty minutes into the event the Easter Bunny came walking across the grass headed toward the pavilion where our tent was stationed. I watched as Stacy approached the city worker assisting the Easter bunny and listened as she invited them to use our chair, under OUR tent, so that the Easter bunny could sit to take pictures with the kids.
At this point, in my estimation, Stacey is a genius. Most of the crowd that had children came to our booth to take a picture with the bunny which allowed us to have lots of great conversations with them.
I’ve learned to trust Stacy. I encourage her ideas. I’ll give way to her opinions and input because I trust her.
I communicate that I am readily available to help and she bounces ideas off of me—but I do not get in her way!
To Extend More Trust:
*Be on the lookout for the indicators of competency and trust.
*Identify areas of competency and extend more responsibility.
You can extend trust to the members on your team too. Start small. Observe how the trust is used and then measure more out.
Your Team Members Need Clarity to Thrive.
Craig Groeschel explains two dynamics that exist related to trust and clarity. He says that if you provide clarity without trust, you’ll create an environment of fear.
The leader will continually pull away authority from the one she has entrusted because of a lack of trust. This creates robots instead of leaders.
The other dynamic is one that is created when you give trust without clarity. Doing this will establish an environment of disappointment.
Without direction there will be unfulfilled expectations and both parties will be upset and confused.
To provide clarity to your team first make sure you understand what you’re asking of those you’re leading.
Ask yourself, “Can I clearly and simply communicate exactly what I want?”
Once you understand something, you should be able to simplify it for someone else. The goal is to give clear and concise expectations.
To Create Clarity for Your Team Members:
*Clarify Why It Matters and How It Relates to the Vision
*Write Down the Expectations
*Discuss With Team Member
*Ask for Commitment
Think of most of the fights you’ve ever had…what does it come down to? More than likely it was a misunderstanding or miscommunication.
Your team needs clarity in order to hit objectives and stay connected to the mission. It’s easy to assume that everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected. However, that’s not always the case. That’s why the next element is equally important too.
Your Team Members Need Feedback to Thrive.
Creating a culture of feedback can revolutionize the effectiveness of your team.
As leaders we must first model receiving feedback to begin infusing a desire from our team members to ask for it too.
Feedback that is constructive is vital to employees’ ongoing development. Feedback clarifies expectations, helps people learn from their mistakes and builds confidence.
Constructive feedback is one of the best things managers can provide to their employees. When delivered properly it can, reinforce positive behavior, correct any negative performance and ensure a strong culture remains in your team.
Below Are Three Aspects to Give Effective Feedback:
Why Should You Give Feedback
*It Reinforces Values
*To Empower Team Members
*It Prevents Unnecessary Surprises
*To Discover Needs
When Should You Give Feedback
*Sooner Rather Than Later
*When Team Member Models What You Value
*When Team Members Stray From What You Value
How Should You Give Feedback
*In The Right Setting
*With The Right Motives
*Explain the Impact (help them understand how/why the action matters)
*Ask for a Response
*Provide Next Steps
Feedback must be welcomed in order for it to be beneficial. If it’s not even constructive, feedback can be taken the wrong way or disregarded.
If members on your team refuse feedback, it’ll be detrimental. Growth will be stunted, culture will be dampened, and frustration will continue to rise.
Being closed-minded toward feedback could be an indicator of one or two things (or both): a lack of trust or a lack of security. However, these issues can be resolved over time if both parties are willing to work together.
Which of the three elements is most difficult for you? Take note and be intentional to ensure your team members are receiving what they need. When leaders provide their teams with what they need they’ll accomplish more than what you’ve asked.
This article originally appeared here.