When my staff told me that I lacked integrity in 2009, what they were saying was they couldn't trust me. Comments on the performance appraisal prove that.
Don't just say you are supportive, but actually, be supportive!
My team lost trust in me
While they had been able to trust me in the past, the arrival of a large new contract changed that. Previously, I'd managed everything on my plate and did it with a level of confidence. But increased responsibility, travel, staffing, scope and budget all left me scrambling to hold things together.
Because of that:
I'd moved into survival mode
The one-word response I had on my performance appraisal in 2009 indicated I'd moved into survival mode!
What do you feel were your accomplishments over the past year? Survival!
It was time for me to rebuild trust!I was frustrated, hurt and discouraged by the feedback. Previous performance appraisals indicated I had strong trust with the team. How could things have plummeted so fast?
Here's the thing about trust. It's not static. It ebbs and flows based on relationships. When it drops, leaders need to double down on building it back.
Trust is all about relationships
Trust is something felt between people. And when you have a strong relationship with someone likely the trust is stronger. Likewise, when your relationship heads to rocky ground, your level of trust is likely to drop. When it's time to rebuild trust, it starts with rebuilding relationships.
Without trust, my team was falling apart!
When my team lost trust in me and felt I was out of integrity, they didn't feel they had a strong leader. Therefore, as trust in our team eroded, I lost followers.
The fact that I was losing followers was one reason I needed to focus on trust. There were others as well. If you are curious about other pitfalls of dwindling trust, tune into this week's podcast, where I share three reasons why you need to keep trust on your radar.
Listen to the episode here.
I had to put trust-building back on my radar!
Through coaching, I learned to build time to build relationships.
I spent time reflecting on the effectiveness of my trust-building activitiesI kept an eye on how I was doing at regaining trust through regular self-reflection. I journaled. I brought issues up in coaching. I planned my time with staff more intentionally.
If you want to build trust in your team, I encourage you to do the same!
If you want to keep trust strong in your team, do this:Put self-reflection time on your to-do list each week. When you take 15 minutes to consider what you've done to build trust, consider your answers to these three questions:
1) Where do you land on the surviving to thriving continuum?
The closer you are to survival mode, it is often that the level of trust in your team drops. In survival mode, we focus on getting things done and hanging on to appointments, tasks, reports etc., before we drop the ball on something. When we are in survival mode, we tend to spend less time building relationships, which is again key to trust.
Check where you land on the Surviving to Thriving continuum here.
2) How do your relationships with your team feel?
When you sense you are avoiding someone on your team or feel as though they are avoiding you, it's a good time to question your level of trust between the two of you.
3) How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, your actions align with your values, ethics and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
When you keep these three things top of mind, you were more likely to create a trusting work culture that thrives.
Tune into this week's podcast to listen for the three reasons why you must keep trust on your radar for you, your team and the clients you serve.
Putting time in to build trust may feel like more work, but TRUST me, in the end, it will help you to feel more on top of all you are responsible for!
P.S. If you want to make sure you are leading with integrity, start with verifying your values, what they mean to you and how you know when you are aligned with them.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.