Remember to the team you are a powerful unknown–you are the one who can most influence their paycheck. This leads a team to want to “prove” to you their value.
Unfortunately this leads to people defending what has been done in the past, to watching you skeptically and to people not openly sharing the elephants in the room until they feel they can trust you. This means you end up with limited information that is improperly skewed.
So how do you level set the field and open up the dialogue?
1. Openly share your working style.
Since their brain’s natural tendency is to want to protect themselves, they need to know right up front how you work, what is most important to you, and how they can best interact with you. Don’t make them spend months speculating on what you want or need. Take the guess work out by sharing your values.
2. Share a story that demonstrates your style of thinking and working.
One executive I worked with shared with his new team about managing a cucumber patch and how tenacious he was in working that patch. It became the theme for the group when they knew that Ron wasn’t going to give up on something. Another executive, John, shared how when he was newly appointed as a manager the mistake he made, what it cost and what he learned. He then wove that all in to a presentation on his values and expectations. John said that the level of trust it usually took him 6 months to get to, he got within 2 weeks with his new team. This lead to faster productivity and results.
3. Find out what each of your direct reports needs from you in order to perform better and to challenge you when appropriate.
By you asking these questions, it demonstrates your expectations and let’s them know that you want them to appropriately challenge. You create a street of Trust that is two way.
When you use these three simple steps you can drastically reduce the time to build trust and rapport with any new team.
I would love to hear your success as you apply this as well as your stories of what you did to build trust with a team rapidly.