In my latest episode of The Messy Middle, I spoke with Dr. Melissa Smith about Trust. Our conversation was so full, that we broke it into two parts.

In part one we explore why trust is important in teams and organizations and what leaders can do to build trust on their teams.

When I think back to my career, leaders who I trusted had my back, cared about my development, and helped me achieve my goals. Trusted teammates for me were ones who did what they said (I didn’t have to follow up), gave honest feedback in a kind way, and recognized my efforts and achievements.

When I flip that over, I can think of leaders I didn’t trust. They spoke to me about things I shouldn’t know, they were manipulative, and feedback usually came out of left field. Team members I didn’t trust were unreliable, made up stories (fed into the rumor mill), and treated others poorly.

As a leader, I think I could have done more in my own career to foster trust by having more difficult conversations. I remember one team I led where there seemed to be some “hidden dynamics” I couldn’t put my finger on. Together in a room, things seemed cohesive enough, but I sensed that wasn’t the case when I wasn’t around. I remember thinking to myself “we’re all professionals” and that people would “figure it out”. In hindsight, I now know that I should have had one on one conversations about the dynamic and a group discussion around getting at the heart of the issue to find resolution. If only I could go back in time with my new knowledge!

What stands out for you in trusting relationships at work? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments below.

Melissa gives us a wonderful breakdown of what shows up at work when trust is present and what happens when it is absent. She gives leaders actionable steps on how to build trust and this is only the start!

Listen to part 1 here:

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If you want to dive deeper into trust, join me at our next Dare To Lead open workshop.