Being an Effective Leader by Building Trust
In the workplace, we as workers, managers, and supervisors interact in more than just a business sense. In order to work together, we need to brew a good chemistry; in order for that to occur, we have to know each other. We spend time getting to know each other’s thought patterns, speech patterns, work and play habits, interests and pet peeves. This is especially true for managers and supervisors – the leaders of the workplace.
How do we get to know these things? After all, it’s never as simple as merely spending time around a person; after all, hundreds of couples get divorced every year, saying after it’s all over, “I was married to Jane for twenty-five years and never knew she loved Frankie Valli!”
No, we can’t simply absorb these pieces of knowledge through osmosis. Our co-workers must allow us to learn about them. In order to do that, they must trust us. Being an effective leader means knowing how to build trust. Through that trusting relationship, effective leaders acquire the information needed to solve problems and handle challenges efficiently and effectively. The stronger that bond of trust is, the more straightforward and open your workplace’s channels of communication will be. Other members of your team will be more willing to share their perspectives on problems and challenges if they trust you, their leader.
Let’s define the word problem. A problem is not something to be looked on as a negative; rather, we should look on it as a potential for positive growth. A problem, quite simply, is where we are right now versus where we would like to be. For an effective leader, a problem is just a catalyst for positive change.
As a leader, you should know how to facilitate change within the workplace while satisfying the needs both of the project and of team members. You must understand how needs change as values and beliefs change, and must be able to adjust accordingly. Values and beliefs are powerful factors which spark powerful passions, strong emotions in people which may push them in either direction: with or against the project. Passions like these are not easily swayed or changed. It takes a real emotional event to do so.
An effective leader knows how to navigate a significant emotional event. The first step is in realizing that thoughts are inseparable from feelings. To put it simply, people are always thinking about what they’re feeling, or feeling about what they’re thinking. The trust you build with your team will enable you to help team members work their way through both positive and negative emotional events while keeping them on track with your project.
Keep in mind how important it is to build trust in your co-workers. And remember that relationship between thoughts and feelings. Our thoughts support our beliefs, our beliefs create our attitudes, and our attitudes are reflected in our actions. Ultimately, it will be your actions and your behavior as a leader that will build trust.
Mary Elizabeth Murphy is Managing Director of S.T.A.R. Resources, a Charlotte-based performance management consulting and education firm that specializes in creating environments in which people want to work.
Call Mary Elizabeth today for a complimentary consult about your team alignment – 704-535-5610.