Building Trust

In SD PEOPLE & PROJECTS email newsletter, Amit Asaravala reports on the results of little survey on what managers do to build (or destroy trust):

… respondents who said they trust their managers praised them for being honest, fair and open-minded:

“I may not always like what he says, but I know he’s giving the answer ‘straight up.’ I can count on his bar being high, he’s predictable and he backs me and my team up.”

“She is honest — both with good news and bad news. While she does do some politicking that I don’t like, it seems to be necessary. She doesn’t stab people in the back.”

“I feel my manager strives to keep both my interests and those of the organization in perspective during the decision-making process.”

“Explaining why the decision was made and usually involving me in the decision-making process gained my trust.”

“[My manager is] open, communicates, is respectful of others, and has given me no reason to think that they’re not trustworthy.”

This is consistent with my experience. People don’t expect their managers to be perfect. They do expect to be treated with respect and to be treated as adults — capable of making decisions, understanding others’ decisions, and handling bad news. People expect that their managers have to live within corporate realities — but not roll over at the first push from senior management. They expect their managers to consider the interests of the team and advocate for them in the face of un-feasible requests.

PS: If you want to learn more about how managers build trust and provide value to the team and the organization, check out Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management, available now in PDF and soon in hard copy from the Pragmatic Bookshelf.