There are very few things as intimidating as becoming a new manager. Whether you are an outsider new to the company or you have just climbed the ranks from within, leading a new group of people can be a daunting task. That’s because team members are often suspicious of a new leader coming in and changing up their routine. Oftentimes team members wonder if you are qualified for the job and if you have the right experience to lead them. Gaining the trust of a new team can be tricky, but it is the most important component for creating a successful team. Here are some helpful tips for closing the trust gap with your new team members.
Make a Good First Impression
When you meet your team for the first time, this is your opportunity to set the tone and make a good impression. Rather than rattling off all of your accomplishments and experience, start by introducing yourself and talking about who you are as a person. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about previous experience, but do so in a way that doesn’t come across as arrogant. This is your chance to demonstrate vulnerability and make that human connection with your team. Ask their names and try to learn something about each of them. Let them know you are excited to work with them and spend a few days simply observing before implementing any changes.
Honesty is the Best Policy
It’s not easy to give constructive feedback or share difficult news, but being honest, especially during tough times, will help you earn the trust and respect of your team. Employees appreciate a manager who is transparent with them and will talk openly about difficult situations and is willing to answer their questions. Whether your team didn’t meet their goals, there are unpleasant changes coming to the company, or you have to let someone go, a good leader will accept these situations for what they are and share the facts with their team members. In turn, this honesty will encourage employees to act in the same way and help them to feel comfortable bringing tough topics to the table.
Own Your Mistakes
Nothing builds trust quite like humility and this is one of the most important leadership skills. It’s not easy, but if you own your mistakes, your team will learn to trust you. Admitting your mistakes humanizes you and immediately makes you more approachable. It takes you off a pedestal and puts you on the same level as your team. If you act like you are incapable of making mistakes, your team will be fearful of messing up themselves. Rather, create a safe environment where employees know it’s ok to take responsibility for their mistakes.
Treat Employees Like People
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. After all, your performance as a manager is greatly determined by these numbers. However, you have to remember to see your employees as people, and not just their output. This doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend and that you don’t have to hold them accountable. Rather, it simply means that you need to take time to get to know your team members beyond their daily tasks. This fosters a strong working relationship and builds a healthier work environment.
Ask for Feedback
Managers have a responsibility to provide feedback to their team members. On the other hand, welcoming feedback in return goes a long way in building a trusting relationship. If managers encourage and are open to feedback, they can build a culture of trust and mutual respect with their team members.