Simplest way to build trust and confidence

Many a times, we face a situation where we feel that our team members do not have trust and confidence in us or each other. Whether its a corporate set-up or the political leadership of a country or a sporting team, trust and confidence are the key ingredients for a motivated spirited performance.

And I think this can be done by just one simple thing – Say what you would do and do it !

Do this and you can gradually build trust and confidence in your team. I say gradually, because its a journey best taken with small steps. When Jeff Bezos said that he wanted Amazon to be the most customer-centric company, he followed it up with key changes like empowering customer care executives to do refunds etc. Why has Infosys been the stock-market’s darling for so long?

Fail to do this and you start depleting the reserved trust capital. Narayana Murthy had once written a passionate article about how leaving Infosys was like giving away your  daughter in marriage. But when he got his son in at the unexpected role, he lost a lot of the trust and respect he had built over years.

And there are many ways one can fail in this.

1. Not saying what you would do

Are you not sure what is expected out of you?

Or are you not confident enough to articulate it and sharing it with others?

If its former, I guess some introspection and coaching might help. But if its latter, take the smallest of actions/goals and share it. Share it in the simplest of words, leaving minimal room for ambiguity.

2. Should I share my chosen path or the targeted goal?

Share an action path if thats what you can stick to. E.g. We will track query resolution time as a measure of performance for our customer care department.

Choose a goal if you are confident of achieving it.  Do not start off with an overly ambitious goal. Strings of small success will get you the motivated team you need for the mega-win.

3. Not doing what you said

Did the priorities change? If yes, did you update your stated goals/path? No? Then its a failure to deliver on point 1.

4. Did you try yet fail to deliver ?

RockyThis is not a problem at all. Because your efforts would have been witnessed by atleast some within your team. They would know your determination and resolve to achieve the chosen goals and thats enough to build confidence. Personally I have always rooted for the underdog challenger – who is in the ring with the champion because he fought many rounds and spilled blood and sweat getting into the championship round.

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The reason sticking to this simple rule – Say what you would do and do it – is so critical is that it makes it easier for others to judge and evaluate you. It sends a clear signal about your priorities and allows others to start believing in those same priorities.

I have had the privilege of working with some really smart leaders and looking back I feel they were very clear about what they (or their teams) are aiming at and ensured they either achieved it or did their very best getting there.