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Leaders, are we creating or breaking trust? (Continued)

Where our attention goes, energy flows – Where are we directing our team’s attention?

If our team’s attention is focused on what might be wrong or they are feeling that they don’t know where they are going, before we even have a conversation, trust may be breaking down. As leaders we may be the cause of a loss in productivity and employee engagement. We know from Gallup’s research that when there are high levels of trust on a team, engagement increases, speed and efficiency increases, productivity increases and we also get the feeling of togetherness, the "feeling" of family.

When we are experiencing these “feelings”, our bodies are releasing the feel good chemical oxytocin, when we are "feeling" good we are working from a more focused and happier place.

Trust may be viewed as a behaviour we expect to see from someone, trust is something that we “feel”, it is an emotional state and our emotions can drive our behaviour (Feelings of trust help us to make decisions on what shop to go to, shops we can trust etc). Knowing this, we can focus on good intentional leadership and intentional communication. How can we do this?

Focus on building relationships and connecting deeply with each member of your team. Am I helping this member of my team to grow personally as well as professionally?

· Remembering that our teams work with us and not for us, we are on this journey together and we share the same goals! We are here to serve our teams as well as our customers.

· Before I send this email, how is it likely to be received, it is clear, will it create fear or make this person feel at ease? Will it build trust? Is talking a better option in this situation?

· Empathy, putting ourselves in our team members shoes. Feeling, hearing and seeing what may be going on for the team member that we are going to communicate with.

Thinking about the conversation before we have the conversation. How will our words be received by this person? What might their perception and understanding be of what I am saying? Am I being clear?

· Avoid micromanaging, this depletes our brains energy and also our teams brain energy. Our teams need to feel that they have control over their work and that we trust them to do their work.

· Recognition – Recognise and reward performance efforts, a simple thank you can enhance performance, and this encourages people to do more of the same as they know they are doing what is right for our company·

Sharing information frequently, even if it is bad news, research shows that we will be less stressed or anxious if we know of a bad outcome rather than being left waiting and guessing what the outcome will be.

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