C’mon, trust me – I’m your manager

Tom trusted his team implicitly.  In his eyes, he always ‘watched their backs’ and defended them whenever his team faced criticism. He empowered them and only micro managed when he felt it was absolutely necessary.  He delegated appropriately and kept the team up to date with what direction the business was going in.  All in all, Tom was happy with how he managed his team.


Tom’s team didn’t trust him as far as they could throw him.  They always felt that he was on their backs, watching their every move, waiting for them to trip up and make a mistake.  In their eyes, he always micro managed them and they hated it.  They wanted to be left alone to do their jobs but there was no chance of that with ‘Peeping Tom’ hanging around.  They also felt that he was quite secretive.  He hardly ever updated them about company matters even though there had been rumours of a takeover.  He also had an annoying habit of taking credit for other peoples work.  As a consequence, there was disharmony in the team, a lack of moral, productivity was down and quite significantly, there was zero trust.


Trust can be measured across 5 levels…


Level 1. Total Trust – If you’re going into battle, I’m coming with you

Level 2. Social Contract – We have common interests or may even meet up socially outside of work

Level 3. Quid Pro Quo – You do something for me and I’ll do something for you

Level 4. Deception – Trust is now on the slide.  I see you through a different set of eyes

Level 5. Revenge – I will get my own back on you


Tom would probably put his team at level 1, 2 or 3.  Sadly for him though his team would place him at level 4 or even 5.


Thankfully a colleague told Tom about the gap in trust and Tom worked hard in the proceeding months to rebuild it.  If it hadn’t come to light the gap would have got bigger and bigger, to the detriment of everyone and of course to the business.


What level of trust are your team at?  Where would they place you?  Once you have identified this you can then proactively put a plan in place to improve the relationships in your team.