Cultivating an environment of connection and trust is a vital yet challenging task for leaders. No team or organisation can thrive without trust and connection, they help teams work together towards the achievement of meaningful goals.  Trust is what empowers people to maximise their talents and reach their full potential.

Why is trust so important in the workplace?

Trust is a key factor for openness in a team. The more your team trust you as a leader, the more at ease they will feel sharing ideas and suggestions for improvement. High levels of trust have a huge impact on the effectiveness and success of a team, it equates to higher levels of engagement, team collaboration, productivity and performance. With the absence of trust comes the risk of the unique strengths of team members not being put to best use and missed opportunities for growth. Trust creates confidence, boosts morale and helps the company to maintain a competitive edge in a fiercely competitive market. Trust creates safety and an environment in which people feel valued.

Follow these steps to cultivate a culture that thrives on trust and connection:

  1. Be an Example

Great leaders enable and inspire those around them to be the best they can be. Your team will look to you for guidance on how to achieve greatness. Leading by example helps others to connect with your vision on a deeper level. You are instilling confidence in others, you are proving to them that with the correct mindset, approach and determination anything is possible. As a leader you cannot expect others to trust and follow you if you fail to demonstrate confidence in them. A compelling strategy for demonstrating faith in your team is delegation, releasing control and proving you trust others to take the lead.

  1. Communicate openly

Building trust requires a policy of openness, it sounds like a simple concept, is your organisation really adhering to this?  Open communication fuels trust, which in turn helps to foster stronger relationships in the workplace, and this leads to higher performance and engagement levels. Provide and actively welcome regular feedback, if people know their contributions are valued they will care more deeply about their role. An open flow of communication ensures your team know that you have their best interests in mind.

  1. Add a pinch of fun into trust building

To boost motivation, try investing in creative methods for building trust and connection with your team. Experiment with some trust building activities such as one’s outlined here by Tiny Pulse. Factor these into the weekly schedule and offer incentives and rewards for participation and results.

  1. Use ‘human’ language

Leaders are ‘human’ too! Why not consciously limit the ‘jargon’ and listen more deeply when communicating with your team.  Adopt a more personal and authentic approach to your conversations, help others feel that they are talented and capable individuals whose contributions are truly heard and valued.

Sue Winton is a highly inspirational leadership coach who has the ability to drive positive personal transformation.  As a ‘Developmental’ Leadership coach, Sue has an approach characterised by enabling deep self-reflection and discussions, centred around previously unexplored thoughts feelings and experiences.