Most managers know intuitively that trust is the foundation of good management. Everything about the job gets easier when you have a team that trusts you. Many managers can sort of stumble into a trusting team; as we’ll see below, the tactics required to built trust overlap substantially with “do your job well”. Thus, you can get quite deep into a management career without needing to consciously work on building trust. But sooner or later, almost every manager ends up with someone – or multiple someones – on their team who don’t trust them. And suddenly, it’s a huge struggle. I remember the first time I was in a situation like this: I made a management mistake, burned someone’s trust, and had no idea how to get it back.
Management books often cover the importance of trust, but abstractly. There’s precious little writing about the nuts and bolts, the day-to-day tasks of trust-building. That’s the gap I’d like to try to fill with this article.