Development Cooperation Handbook/Communication Skills/Building a Climate of Trust

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Trust is crucial to team work. and is central to the organisational/communication climate; first duty of a manager/leader is to be trustworthy and first objective is to be trusted.  

If trust deteriorates, so too will the positive climate you have worked to create leading to hoarding of information, distortion of messages, deception, low morale, suspiciousness and close-mindedness.

Trust is so important that without it none of the other leadership skills can be put to work. No one wants to follow someone they don’t trust.

These are actions that will help you in generating trust into your counterparts:

  • Express your doubts, concerns and feelings in an open, natural way. Encourage your subordinates to do so also.
  • When subordinates are willing to express their doubts, concerns and feelings, accept them thoroughly.
  • Set honesty as one standard that will not be compromised. Demand it from yourself and from your staff.
  • Be clear in your expectations when assigning work or eliciting opinions. Explain your reasons, wherever possible, behind requests and directions.
  • Encourage subordinates to look to you as a possible resource in accomplishing results, but develop and reinforce independence.
  • When something goes wrong, determine what happened, not “who did it.”
  • Encourage active support and participation in corrective measures from those involved.
  • Share credit for successes; assume the bulk of the responsibility for criticism of your unit.