What’s Trust Got To Do With IT?

by drjim on March 6, 2014

The only way that an IT manager can be successful is with the trust of the team

The only way that an IT manager can be successful is with the trust of the team
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IT managers can’t do it by themselves. In order to be successful, they need the support of their team. If this is going to happen, then the team is going to have to be willing to support their manager. The only way that all of this is going to happen is if the manager has found a way to win the trust of his or her team. Therein lies the big question: just exactly how do you gain the trust of an IT team?

It’s A Vision Thing

One of the reasons that it can be so difficult for an IT manager to build a sense of trust with his or her team is because they think that you know things that you’re not sharing with them. In order to remove this barrier to trust, you are going to have to take action.

One way to start the trust building process is to start by sharing the vision of the IT department and you with your team. By providing them with this information, they’ll have a clearer idea of what you are trying to accomplish and they’ll be more willing to trust you as you take action to make that vision a reality.

Another way to build trust with your team is to prove to them that you know what you are doing. This can be accomplished by giving each member of your team very clear instructions on what you need them to be doing. By doing this your team will come to believe in you and trust is sure to follow.

Can We Talk?

It’s amazing, but sometimes the littlest things can generate the greatest rewards. When it comes to building trust with your IT team, telling the team your personal stories is a great way to start to build that trust. Remember that they may not know that much about you or what you’ve been able to accomplish, your stories can start to answer their questions about you.

The best kind of stories for you to tell are the ones that talk about the challenges that you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them. Including some mistakes that you’ve made is another good thing to do. All of this will serve to make you more “real” to your team and this goes a long way to building trust.

This conversation stuff can be taken one step further. Allocating the time to sit down with each member of your team in order to find out what they want to accomplish is another great way to build trust. This simple technique is a great way to show everyone that you really care.

What All Of This Means For You

An IT manager’s career will advance not based on his or her own actions, but rather based on what the team that they are in charge of can accomplish. What this means for you is that you are going to need their support to move forward. This support starts with you getting your team to trust you.

Trust is a tricky thing. You can’t demand it, you have to earn it. There are a number of different ways to go about doing this. Talking to your team and sharing the company’s vision and what it means for them along with providing clear directions for the team is one way. Another is opening up and sharing your personal stories or having personal discussions with each member of the team will build trust.

Trust is tricky and building it does not happen overnight. Instead, you are going to need to work with your team and take the time to build trust from the ground up. Do this correctly and you can be assured that your team will always have your back.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Can you think of any way to measure the amount of trust that an IT team has in their manager?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Appreciation is a word that I believe that we’re all familiar with, but do we really know what it means? More importantly, as IT managers do we take the time to show the members of our team that we appreciate them and the work that they do? If we’re not doing this, then we’re missing out on a great opportunity…

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