Strong Leaders Build Trust By Revealing Weakness

BY Greg Gregory
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Even among teams that have worked together for years, there’s room to build trust between team members and their leader. For teams that have recently undergone a fundamental change – such as absorbing new members from other teams, or resizing to a smaller team – re-​forming and rebuilding trust are absolutely critical.

How do you build trust? Here are four simple activities you can do to build trust both as the leader and the team as a whole.

Use Self-​Deprecating Humor:

Many of the greatest comedians in the world use self-​deprecating humor and laugh at themselves, and in business we can learn from laughter. When a leader shows their misgivings and where they are weaker, they are not laughed at – rather their trust factor is bolstered.

Hold a Personal History Exercise:

When team members take time to share their personal stories, it opens up their vulnerability—and when everyone becomes vulnerable, trust is elevated.

Create Accountability Partners:

When team members are accountable to others on the team, they feel a stronger sense of obligation not to let them down. One effective way to establish this is to partner members with someone they do not know as well and then rotate partners a couple of times per year.

Schedule Activities Outside of Work:

While this may sound crazy, the more team members can connect outside of the workplace, the more engaged they will become at work. The more engaged they become, the stronger the trust, and subsequently the stronger the team. These activities can range from a night out for pizza, to bowling, to an afternoon of paintball and much more.

Great organizations do these kinds of activities constantly, often as part of regular employee training and development. They build trust and in turn, improve teamwork – leading to happier employees and better productivity overall.

Copyright © 2017, Gregg Gregory & Teams Rock. First published October 16, 2017.