Here’s one of those ugly truths about leadership that a lot of the gurus gloss over. You can only be as good a leader as your relationship with your team is, and your relationship with your team is only as strong as the ties of trust between you. But how can you tell that they trust you, or that you trust them for that matter? It can be a messy process of getting to know each other with lots of slips and setbacks, and it’s the rare employee that will flat out tell a leader whether or not they’re trusted. But there are a few subtle clues that will tell you if you’re making progress in building a trusting team, and I’ll share one of them today.
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How can you tell if your team trusts you? Here's one of those ugly truths about leadership that a lot of the gurus gloss over. You can only be as good a leader as your relationship with your team is. And the relationship with your team is only as strong as the ties of trust between you. But how can you tell that they trust you or that you trust them for that matter? It can be a messy process of getting to know each other with lots of slips and setbacks. And it's the rare employee that will flat out tell a leader whether or not they're trusted, but there are a few subtle clues that will tell you if you're making progress in building a trusting team and I'll share one of them with you today. Welcome to the kind leadership Challenge. I'm Sarah Clark, founder of the kind leadership Guild, my PhD and higher ed leadership, plus 17 years working in academic libraries from the front desk to the Dean's office, taught me a secret that I want to share with all of you. You don't have to be a perfect leader to build a better world and your school or library definitely doesn't need to be perfect either. Here's the deal, educational and library leaders like you give me five to 10 minutes of your Monday morning. And in return, I'll empower you to heal yourself and your school or library. No long interviews, no celebrities, no lectures, no nonsense. Just short stories and simple challenges you can implement this week. Each challenge is designed to coach you in the confidence skill and trust you need to let go of a little control. You and your team will begin growing humanely, managing effectively and partnering collaboratively and your school or library will build a more informed and educated world along the way. There is one skill that you need for these challenges, not to mention all the drama, doubt and defensiveness at work that leaves you overthinking, overworked, overwhelmed and just plain stuck. That's why I created the first kind leadership Guild course, Get Unstuck! This eight part course gives you the toolkit to make effective, humane and collaborative decisions. And in, so doing your team will begin healing all that drama doubt and defensiveness into the trust, confidence, and excellence that will empower your organization to build a better world. Get Unstuck covers a simple process to help you make decisions big and small with timeframes short and long. And it's self paced, so you can finish it in eight hours, eight days or eight weeks. Just depends on what makes sense for you. You'll also gain access to a private community, regular group zooms, a 30 minute one-on-one session with me and more. For all the details, check the link in the show notes. Now onto today's challenge. As a new leader at a new to me university library, one of the hardest things for me to adjust to was that it seemed like people weren't always real with me, at least not at first. And I get it. When you have a new boss, you want to make a good impression. You don't want to rock the boat and maybe you've had bad experiences with previous bosses that make you reluctant to open up. However, as leaders, we can't fix the problem, unless we know that the problem exists. While accepting that you can't control your team's timeline for trusting you, model every day in every way that you are approachable and want to hear anything they need to share good or bad. And be honest with yourself too. If deep down, you're not always ready to hear bad news. It's not a good idea to fake it. Be honest and vulnerable about your discomfort and work to improve. All that begs another question though. How can you tell when your team is becoming safer and more trusting? Well, laughter is a good sign. You know how sometimes when you're in a tense meeting, someone, maybe even you, will break the tension with a joke and everything suddenly becomes easier. A kind leader looks for those moments and builds on them to nurture a trusting team culture. So here's your challenge for this week. Be on the lookout for genuine laughter from your team and from yourself. Consider what brought it about and how you can foster it going forward. It won't work if it comes off as forced or fake, but if someone could do it just right, everything becomes a lot easier because laughter connects us and reminds us that we're all human. And we probably all have the same goals, even if we might approach them in different ways. If you hear some laughter from your team this week, or want to hear more laughter from your team this week, go speak up or comment in our free Facebook group. This private community of practice with over 1200 members can help you heal yourself, your school or library in your community in weeks not years? All you have to do is go to the link in the show notes and sign up. Thanks for listening and for taking action to become a kinder leader. Never doubt that day by day you're building a better world, even if you can't see it yet. Until next time, stay kind now.