After identifying my first action as ‘tackling being a lone-leader’, I realised that to do this, I needed to tackle one of the other biggest issues within the team – trust.
There just wasn’t a lot of trust in the team.
Whenever we hit a rough patch, everybody in the team retreated into their shells, they looked after themselves, and we become protective of ourselves and our own work, rather than working together to tackle the issue. It seemed that we didn’t trust each other to tackle the problem together.
I knew that I was a particular cause of this. I was trying to be the best manager – I wanted the team to believe in me, to believe that I knew what I was doing, and to to believe that I could be the manager of the team. So I wasn’t asking for help. I wasn’t showing the team that I needed them and that each one of them were key to the team.
Although I’ve never been the type of person to take credit from someone else for their work, I have been the type of person who tries to do everything themselves. Instead of asking for help and support, I was being a lone-leader, again.
And that needed to stop.
I was then inspired by a quote from Simon Sinek –
And that was me. Whilst I was happy to continuously offer help to my team, I wasn’t asking them for their help.
So after realising this, I started to dig a little deeper and I realised that by asking for help I would be making myself more vulnerable. I wouldn’t be trying to be perfect and trying to do it all by myself. Instead, I would be saying “I need your help” – I would be human.
And by showing that vulnerability and being more human, I was showing that I trusted the team with my vulnerability.
There is another quote that really resonates with me and that, although is different from a work environment, the message is still relevant to trusting your team with your vulnerability –
So, this is what I started to do. I started to show my vulnerability – and after a while, the team started showing theirs. This started to lead to trust growing in the team. We started to become a stronger team.
How do I know that trust has grown? Well, we’ve recently had moments of adversity within the team, and the wider environment that the team works in, and instead of reverting back to our old habit of retreating into our shells, we looked to each other – and the team looked to me and I looked to them for support to get through it. And we did.
We had successfully developed a key ingredient, but just like a recipe, we need to tend to it often otherwise it will spoil. So just because we’ve got it at the moment, it doesn’t mean that it wont go quickly if we stop tending to it.
And to tend to trust regularly, we need another key ingredient, communication. You can read my story about strengthening the communication in our team in my next post tomorrow.