New leaders in an existing organization face a unique challenge. They’re being called on to manage team members who may have previously been their peers, and their friends. What steps can they take to be most effective in these situations? For Susan Mazza, writing for Randomactsofleadership.com, it all comes down to building trust.
If you want to be an effective leader, your team members need to feel like you have their backs. Trust isn’t earned overnight, but rather incrementally, and through deliberate effort on your part. As you work on building trust, consider Mazza’s advice, which falls into two broad categories.
Showing Team Members They Matter
It should go without saying that in today’s flat organizations, employees want to find meaning in their work, and they expect everyone to be treated equally. If you want people to show up on time for work, and on time for meetings, be the first person at work in the morning and be the first person in the conference room before the meetings start. Habitual lateness, and keeping people waiting, sends a message. Even if you tell your team members you’re busy or the previous meeting ran over, what you’re showing them is that they are not important to you. Get control of your schedule and your life so you can model the kind of behavior you expect from others.
Boasting about the quality of your company’s work at industry meetings is expected and necessary. Boasting about yourself at a team meeting is not. Your employees don’t expect you to know everything. In fact, admitting you need help, or that you made a mistake, shows humility and honesty. Make yourself vulnerable to team members and they'll reward you with loyalty.
As often as you can, take the opportunity to publicly praise the individual who has completed a project or made a big sale. Highlighting the contributions of others, instead of your own, shows you’re serious about helping team members increase their visibility in the organization and improving their prospects for advancement.
The next time you’re tempted to hit the snooze button and come in late, or brag about how you closed the latest deal, think about the message those actions send to your team members and modify your behavior accordingly.