Do you want to build a culture of trust in your team? Here are eight neuroscience-backed ways to do just that. The eight behaviours below aren’t just common sense; they also release neurochemicals in peoples’ brains that build trust and other good things like engagement, job satisfaction, loyalty, motivation and productivity.
- Say thank you and show your appreciation. This works best just after someone reaches a goal or does something you want them to keep doing.
- Set clear and specific goals that are challenging, but make sure they’re achievable. This generates moderate stress that releases neurochemicals that help people focus and that strengthen social connections, helping people work well together.
- Let people work in their own way as much as possible. Knowing how to do a job and deciding how best to get on with it is motivating and promotes innovation. Bringing the team together to use the learning cycle in an after action review often leads to continuous improvement, too.
- When you can, let people select the projects they work on. That way, they work on what interests and inspires them most, leading to job satisfaction and high performance.
- Keep people informed about the organisation’s goals and strategies. Unless people know they’re working for an organisation that has its act together, their stress levels increase and their ability to work as a team deteriorates.
- Build relationships with your team and help them build relationships with each other. They don’t all need to be best friends, but they need to know each other as individuals to work well together and they need to care enough about each other that they don’t want to let their teammates down.
- Help team members develop personally and professionally. The best performers are well-rounded people, so show consideration for their work-life balance or work-life blending and don’t work people so hard that they have no time for personal rest, recreation and reflection.
- Don’t pretend you know everything. Ask for help when you need it; it’s a sign of a secure leader whose main aim is to perform well and help their team perform well.
As you can see, these eight behaviours aren’t difficult or even particularly time consuming. You can find out more in the Jan-Feb 2017 Harvard Business Review in an article by Paul Zak called ‘The neuroscience of trust’.