How to Nurture Trust Between Managers

You know the value of people trusting YOU. But how are you helping managers TRUST EACH OTHER?

You aren’t done trust building until the people around the table trust each other.

Elvis got it right when he sang:

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds

Suspicion erodes potential.

Acknowledge reality:

There are winners and losers on management teams. A manager who seeks advancement jockeys for high profile assignments. But aspiration is an opportunity for distrust.

High profile assignments come with more authority, recognition, and resources. You might be tempted to undermine a colleague to win plum assignments.

Trust building for management teams:

#1. Put trust building on the public agenda. Secrecy erodes trust.

It’s inconsistent to work on trust building and keep it secret from your team. Trust building goes hand-in-glove with transparency.

#2. Trust the people around the table to be part of the process. Include every team member in the process. (No exceptions.)

Tap the power of story: 

Ask team members to tell a story about working in a high-trust environment. (Exclude the present situation and team.)

Discussion questions:

  1. What happens in you when you trust the people around you?
  2. What happens in you when you distrust the people around you?
  3. What were the symptoms of distrust? Trust? (Avoid theory. Ask people to stick with their past personal experiences. Don’t focus on the present team.)
  4. What behaviors and attitudes eroded trust? Strengthened trust?
  5. With your story in mind, what specific advice do you have for building trust on our current management team? (The response must be actionable.)
  6. Name one personal trust building action you can employ on a daily basis between now and our next meeting.
  7. Come prepared to discuss what you learned about trust building at our next meeting.

What creates distrust and suspicion on management teams?

How might management teams build trust between each other?

This post is inspired by two comments in yesterday’s post.

Bonus material:

Building Trust in Communities (University of Minnesota Extension)