When you start leading a new team of employees — whether it’s a group of 10, 20, or 50 people — you’ll want to figure out how to earn their trust as quickly as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about managing them with the respect you hope to gain in return.
1. Practice what you preach
Don’t be a hypocrite — instead, stand by your word. It’ll be tough getting people to believe in your leadership if you’re constantly changing your tune.
The Building Trust 2013 report by Interaction Associates hammers home the importance of how managers act.
Leaders walking the talk directly affects whether employees deepen their engagement and involvement, with a profound impact on business results and performance. And because people join organizations but they leave managers, leaders walking the talk in predictable and transparent ways significantly influences employee retention.
2. Be a good listener
People won’t connect with you if they feel like they can’t get through to you.
A Monster article talks about how leaders should “listen actively” to get respect — specifically, engaging with employees during conversations and showing excitement about what they have to say.Lean forward, share acknowledgment and paraphrase back to them what you heard them say.
The author suggests that leaders “lean forward,” “share acknowledgment” and “paraphrase back to them what you heard them say.”
“When you actively listen, you are not thinking about what you will say next,” the articles states. “Be with them in the moment.”
3. Don’t be afraid to talk about challenges
Sugarcoating the truth or failing to mention problems altogether is not an effective way to move forward from what’s holding your team back. Candidly talking about the issues sets an example for your team and puts things out in the open.
Cheri Lytle writes about tackling problems “head-on” when the group is facing something tough in a Fortune article. She gives readers lines they can use during their “next meeting.”
Tackle an issue by opening with, “I know this is annoying. No one likes this policy. It’s irritating. So let’s get our feelings out right now.” In essence, I think it’s critical to put all issues on the table right away.
4. Recognize when you need help
Acting like you’re above it all when something isn’t clear to you as the supervisor can be a sure way to fail, or even take away from someone else’s hard work. Be sure to own it when you’re unsure of something to prevent issues down the line.
Jim Morris writes about errors new managers overlook in an article for The Muse. One of them is “You Fake it to Make It.”
“You’re a new manager, not a seasoned veteran,” he writes. “No one is going to think badly of you if you need to ask for clarification. In fact, others are far more likely to judge you harshly if you pretend everything’s going perfectly and then botch a job because you didn’t ask for help.”
The article goes on to say that you should be “confident” when when you’re certain of what’s going on but to “be real” and let your manager or employees know if it’s your first time doing a task.
5. When in doubt, follow the Golden Rule
This classic adage couldn’t be truer: treat others as you’d like to be treated.
There will likely be difficult waters to tread, unpopular business decisions to make, and high goals to meet, but that doesn’t mean you should take out any angst you have as a new manager on your team. Imagine if you were in your direct report’s shoes — would you want to be emotionally drained because of your company’s social culture every day?
The last thing you want to be is the manager people run from when they change departments or switch companies.