Monday, May 6, 2019

The Magic of Trust

By Gail Meintjies

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
I can’t stand being micro-managed. It drives me mad. I can’t stand doing things without knowing why they must be done. Just going through the motions because that’s what the job entails doesn't work for me. I work extremely well under pressure. If there’s a short deadline or an overwhelming challenge, that’s when I perform at my peak.

That’s me; I know my strengths and I know what makes me tick.

I’ve been part of many teams, and I’ve led a good number of teams over the years, and this is what I’ve learned – one size does not fit all.

We don’t all enjoy autonomy or work well under pressure. Some people prefer to do what they are asked without challenging the routine.

And that’s okay.

When I’ve gone into a new team, started my own team, or taken over a team, I have one rule that I go by.

I don’t want to hear the gossip, or the technology glitches, or even the issues the team had with their previous leader.

When I meet a new team member, the first thing I want to know is who they are. What their goals are, what pushes them over the edge, what inspires them, how they function.

Building trust

According to Forbes
, problems that most teams experience are as a result of a lack of trust. This includes poor performance, a lack of commitment and tension.

The common definition of trust is having a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone.

If you do not take the time to get to know your team members, personally, there is no way to understand their reliability, their truth, or their ability.

Here are some tips from Forbes on how best to get to know your team members:
  • Listen: Ask questions in personal meetings, as well as in a broader forum. Listen without judgement, listen to learn and understand. Take notes, either mentally or after your meeting, because in this way you remember more. When next you’re meeting with that person, connect with something you’ve learned about them.
  • Be Brave: The best way to learn about what inspires and motivates people, is to share your own story and experiences, and share your interests, fears and goals. When team members see that you are genuine, they will be willing to trust you.
  • Work with the Team: Whether you’re a leader or a team member, one of the best ways to show individuals that you’re truly interested in them, is to spend time in their space, with their permission. People generally enjoy sharing what they are doing and showing others what they know. It will boost their morale and again show them that you’re really interested in who they are.
  • Recognition: Appreciation is a fundamental human need – not only does it show team members that the work they are doing is appreciated, it shows them that they are valued.
Guidelines for building trust and connecting are always helpful, but there’s one thing that I believe must be present, and that’s being genuine. These actions need to be done with genuine intent, genuine willingness to learn and understand, genuine want to connect with people.
When you truly understand your team members, you can appreciate their actions and reactions in the situations they face, and you will be equipped to journey with them through the trials and tribulations, in a way that is meaningful to them.
In a work environment I believe that it takes perseverance and hard work to create a trusting environment, and that the work begins with me.
Gail Meintjies is a skilled Customer Service professional, offering 12 years’ dedicated experience in the banking industry and 4 years’ earlier experience in journalism. Her background is rich in mentorship, coaching and training, and the consistent delivery of exceptional customer service.

Committed to process improvement, and possessing excellent problem solving skills, Gail has the inherent ability to identify situational needs and provide rational and intelligent solutions. Her exceptional organisational skills, attention to detail, and self-motivation, enable Gail to manage multi-levelled workloads with diligence and focused precision. 

Connect: LinkedIn

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