This blog was originally posted on JerrySwon.com
When you head up a new team, getting to know them and earning their trust can be an intimidating concept. After all, it’s difficult to throw yourself into any situation, particularly one in which you’re expected to lead. How do you earn trust quickly and in a situation in which you’re expected to lead right away?
Make a Strong First Impression
You’ll want to prepare for this meeting by learning something about your team. Go over their performance reviews or employment records so you can identify their strengths. When you meet your team for the first time, take the time to introduce yourself to each one and identify one or strengths that you admire about them. If you’re in a situation in which you know some of them from past working experiences, share that with the rest of the team. Tell them why you have come to trust and value that particular team member.
Be Mindful of How You Communicate
If you know some team members better than others, this could create an even bigger obstacle to building trust with your team. You’ll be more likely to hold one-on-one meetings with those team members while emailing or passing on information to the rest of the team. This type of situation implies favoritism, even where you may not intend it.
Instead, hold group meetings regularly. If you’re not one for group meetings, explain this to your team and arrange just the occasional group meeting. In place of more frequent meetings, email your team on the news, updates, and other information you wish to share. If you like one-on-one meetings, select a different team member each time. By communicating regularly with each team member, you’ll have better success in building trust among them.
Share Your Values and Goals
Finally, discuss your core values openly with your team, so they can get a clearer picture of what you expect. Show them that you base your value of each team member on their performance and not on their gender, race, orientation, or other subjective factors. Letting them know at this time what you expect from each of them eliminates future miscommunication.
As you and your team develop a better understanding of one another, the trust will become a component of the team’s relationship with you. It will take time and effort, but, as you become more familiar with one another, you’ll know what to expect.