How to foster Trust, Delegation & Values

- Communication

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by Sam at Management 3.0

In an insightful podcast with one of our longest standing facilitators, Ralph van Roosmalen, we dove into how to create teams with trust, delegation and values, particularly teams without managers.

It was an inspiring episode from a facilitator but also from one of our colleagues (happens to be the CEO of Management 3.0) and so we wanted to expand on what we discussed.

Let’s start with Trust.

How can we foster trust among remote teams?

Teams can’t function well when co-workers don’t trust one another. That’s why building and maintaining trust is paramount to having a successful team. However, without regular face-to-face contact the process can be more complicated. Or should we say it can just take more time.

After years of working remotely our Management 3.0 team finally decided to start in person retreats and it’s the best thing we’ve done. While we’ve developed mechanisms to make it work remotely, such as turning the videos on and really pushing for transparency, openness, honesty and direct communication, it’s not the same as physically sitting beside and working with your colleague.

Studies have shown that trust can be actively accelerated, here are a few quick tips about how to do that:

#1: Take advantage of ‘swift trust’

This is known as the “honeymoon period” of a relationship and usually happens if a group is under pressure to perform, and has little choice but to trust each other. The idea is to take advantage of this. Managers should: Showcase the strengths of the different members and ensure that the team has clear goals that everyone understands.

#2: Pro-actively build interpersonal trust

Building trust doesn’t happen automatically and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s been said that we tend to trust others who we perceive to be similar to us because we think those people will have similar reactions to situations in ways that we can understand and perhaps predict. It’s important to hire people for WHO they are, just as much — if not more — than for WHAT they can do.

At Management 3.0 we talk a lot about culture fit as something that’s really important to us. In order to be proactive about fostering connections, why not start a meeting with a ‘get to know you’ ice breaker or a ‘take 5’ where people can discuss what’s happening in their lives personally and professionally.

#3: Intensity of Interaction

You might have heard of the 7-38-55 rule, if not it basically says that 55% of how we communicate is done through body language, 38% through voice tone and only 7% with what we say.

But when a team works remotely, it’s hard to have a relationship beyond the ‘spoken word’ since there’s only so much body language you can read and you’re not always on a video call or on the phone. It’s important to be conscious of this. If interactions between colleagues is limited to email (words) you’re only tapping into 7% of the elements needed to build trust. If you want to accelerate trust try and enhance the face-to-face interactions online and yet another reason for regular in-person retreats.

Now let’s shine a light on Delegation!

Delegation is not a binary thing. There are plenty of ‘shades of gray’ between being a dictator and being an anarchist.

Jurgen Appelo

#1: Delegate Effectively

Think about who’s best suited to deliver the best results. As Stephen Covey says in his book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective people: “Stewardship delegation is focused on results instead of methods. It gives people a choice of method and makes them responsible for results.”

Focus on strengths and focus on empowering those around you to tap into their strengths. An important question you can ask yourself to reflect on this is: Are you doing everything on your own? Who would do it better than you?

#2: Be Transparent

At Management 3.0 we’re all about transparency and honesty. We have to be because we don’t see each other face to face most of the time. When you hide things from your colleagues it’s harder to build trust, it’s also harder to delegate and have people assist you and work with you on projects.

We use something called the Delegation Board. It’s an excellent way to openly discuss and show who’s in charge of what and when and for what one needs to ask permission from the rest of the team.

As the Dalai Lama said: “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”

#3: It’s OK to feel uncomfortable about Delegating Tasks

It might sound odd, but some people really have a hard time delegating. Not because they like to micromanage (there are those as well), but we like to feel responsible for our tasks and don’t want to feel like we’re pawning them off to others. It’s important to learn to get over the discomfort and let people in.

Sometimes it helps to learn more about the person you’re going to delegate things to. Find out what they like, what they’re good at so you feel more considerate and connected when giving them a task.

Want to delve more into this topic? Have a listen to the podcast episode about trust, delegation and values now:

Photo Credit Martin Reisch on Unsplash

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