How do you build trust? Consistency. Let me explain.
A question I get asked a lot is, “How do I delegate more?”
Which is usually followed up with something to the effect of “I don’t trust that anyone can do it the way that I can”.
Sound familiar? Yes, me too. I’ve been there.
Today we’ll focus on the 2nd and 3rd Ps. People and Process. I’ll also introduce the 6th and most overlooked P, Patience.
Trust, at its core, is the belief that someone will do what they say they will do. They tell you the truth, even when it hurts to hear. Think about the people that you trust in your own life. If they say they will meet you somewhere, or show up at a certain time, they do. They have demonstrated that they will follow through, or communicate with you if they can’t. And they do this over and over and over. And when someone breaks your trust it’s because they didn’t do what they said they would.
Now with that in mind, think about your team and the statement, “I don’t trust anyone can do it the way that I can” – which leads back to “how do I delegate more?” This is a solvable problem.
First, let’s get back to trust. Trust isn’t all or nothing. It’s a spectrum. There are levels of trust that you can have with people. There are people you can trust to get your coffee order right, and then there are people you literally trust with your life – and everything in between. When thinking about your team, you probably need a level of trust that falls in between a coffee order and something that is life or death. You want to be able to trust someone to execute your plan on your behalf the way that you would.
So how do you do this? Hint, I gave you the answer earlier. And if you’re thinking to yourself, there is no way I can trust my team to do what I do – please keep reading.
Process. That’s the key.
Whaaaat? That sounds so simple!
That’s because it can be. Process is the key to building trust with your people. Building trust starts with you, not with them.
You, the person that needs to trust, need to build a process. You need to document what you do and how you do it. You need to set clear expectations on what you want and when you need it. These tactics are why trust doesn’t happen. Not because the team can’t execute, but because you didn’t give them the tools to be successful.
Remember when I said the people you can trust are the people who tell you the truth, even when it’s hard to hear? You can trust me. I am telling you that you’re the reason you can’t trust your team.
Now, are there instances where people lie, cheat, steal and burn bridges? Of course. I’m not naive. But that’s not what this particular post is about. I do want to acknowledge that even when you give someone everything they need to be successful they can’t or won’t be. But that’s a topic for another day. I promise to cover it at length.
Back to the point – you.
In order to start the process of trust building so that you can feel comfortable delegating, you need to determine what it is that you need from other team members. Once you know what that looks like, communicate it to them and give them a chance to try it out and make mistakes. If you have something you’re struggling to delegate it’s likely because you have taken the time to practice and perfect it to your liking. You need to give others the chance to do the same. This also takes time. Be patient. If you want to delegate today and want something perfected yesterday, you and your team are not set up for success. You’re going to fail. Patience is HARD. I know. I can be very impatient. But when you are training and building up your team, you have to find even a kernel of patience. Otherwise, this will be a waste of your time and theirs.
I have found that the most successful relationships start with this process. It starts with you, defining the process for the tactic, documenting it, and communicating it. You set the expectations and then follow through with constructive feedback. Lather, rinse, repeat. Building trust takes practice and consistency from both sides. Trust is not a one-way street. Your team needs to trust that you have given them all the information they need to be successful. And like any relationship you have in your life that is good and trusting, it takes consistent work. And patience.
Now go out there and delegate this shit out of your tasks!
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