Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Trust Paid Forward

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Establishing A Good (and Mutually Beneficial) Business Relationship With Your Employees

From a leader’s point of view, there are three basic things that compose a functional relationship: Command, control, and communication. Those are the most basic aspects that leaders need to establish a basic link between themselves and their employees.


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In the modern age, we’re much more open to deeper business relationships. After the Industrial Revolution, there have been many changes to how workers were viewed and treated. Employees went from being treated as property, at a time when there was a low standard for work environments, to being treated as a resource, as is the case with the modern human resources approach.

Now, one of the most important traits that employers and employees should share with each other is trust. How is trust defined?

Trust, according to psychology

The most defining traits of mutual trust are predictability and reliability, which allows teams to function as a single cohesive unit even when one of the three Cs—command, control, and communication—is absent.

It’s the belief that a person will behave in a certain way. And in the business setting, it often means that every member of a team will be able to fulfill their tasks to the best of their abilities. It’s nice to enjoy someone’s trust, including the fact that they do not need to peer over your shoulder in order to ensure that you’re doing your job right.

A team that trusts one another is likely an effective team, because they can more or less gauge each other’s pattern of behavior and they work accordingly. When workers and their employer are able to establish mutual trust, they’re also more likely to perform well.

How to establish trust with your team

There are many ways to establish trust; among the most important are to communicate, lead, and trust others to meet their agreements.

You need to encourage open communication among your team. Communicating openly and freely becomes all the more important if you’re working with a remote team like those featured in the Top 50 rankings on BestSEOCompanies.com. Even when things seem bad, they should not muddle the facts. Sometimes, the truth is going to be unsavory and it’s your responsibility as a leader to react to difficult truths responsibly. Don’t take your frustrations out on your team or try to assign blame. You need to focus on the issue at hand and that often entails that you set aside differences in order to achieve a particular objective.

You also need to demonstrate your trustworthiness to your employees by keeping your word. Show them integrity by saying what you’ll do and doing what you say. You also need to reinforce the same behavior among your team members by rewarding those who act with integrity.

Finally, you need to trust—trust that your team members will keep their commitments. Trust is paid forward. Learn to give a person the benefit of your trust. There’s a unique beauty in seeing what people achieve when they learn that someone believes in them and in their ability to perform well. It changes the game when you are willing to give more than you demand.

Questions: Why is trust important in your organization? Has trust become a resource for your employees? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: Trust rates among the top traits of successful product managers. They talk, act, and work so that others trust them. Their behavior is predictable and harmonizes with the values of the organization. Even more important, when others—engineers for example—make commitments to their part of a project, the successful product manager trust them that they will complete what they’ve signed up for in the time they committed to. Developing trust is crucial for teams that want to build great products.

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