lack of trust in leadership

Does your team trust you?

You know one of the most asked questions that I get week after week is around trust.

“Mak, I’m not sure how to earn the trust of my peers and have them listen to me”

“Mak, how do I keep my employees engaged and gain their trust”

Maybe you have asked the same questions or you have a rendition of your own. Either way the topic of trust building is a popular one as it should be.

Trust to me is like the oil in the engine that just keeps things running. Without oil, everything seizes up, and there is a cost to things seizing up.

The cost of low trust or a lack of trust is time, money and resources.

And let’s face it companies are not interested in wasting their time, money and resources.

This means that if there is a lack of trust on your team whether team members don’t trust you as the manager or each other as teammates then a priority of yours should be to fix that immediately.

In today’s episode of MakTV I’m sharing the most common reasons WHY team members do NOT trust their managers.


Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below. 

But first, to really help you stand out in your new role I highly recommend downloading the New Manager Starter Kit. A free downloadable interactive guide to help you show up and stand out and take the right action steps.

Last week I scrolled past a post in a facebook group that stopped me dead in my tracks.

A group member in the facebook group posted that she was brand new to management and was looking for advice as to what to do and what not to do.

In response to her post many people chimed in with their thoughts and advice. A lot of the advice was spot on but there was one comment that stood out that was just dead wrong AND is one of the reasons why so many team members do not trust their team members.

The person commented “Get to know your team – you will need them to save your butt one day when you screw up.”

The number one reason for a lack of trust in leadership is having the wrong intentions/attitude

This kind of attitude is actually the number 1 reason why team members often don’t trust their managers.

The attitude that says I as a manager am getting to know you because I’m going to need you to save my tail one day is not okay.

Being a manager is not a game of manipulation.

And any efforts to get to know the team should be genuine.

When team members feel that they are just tools being used to save your butt and it’s not coming from a genuine place – guaranteed they will not trust you.

People aren’t dumb they can always sense the intentions.

It’s always important that they know that you have their best interests at heart and that what you do isn’t motivated by your own gains and to enable their success.

Number 2 – Lack of transparency

The second thing that causes a lack of trust in leadership is a lack of transparency.

I’ve said it on this channel before if you don’t give people as many pieces of the puzzle that you can, they will try and put the pieces together on their own.

Not only could those puzzle pieces be incorrect that they are putting together but it often causes them to question other things as well.

Lack of transparency is so detrimental to trust.

I can tell you that I have made this mistake many times.

In fact, when I think back on some of the biggest blowouts that we’ve had as a team the root cause was always a lack of transparency.

Now the lack of transparency didn’t come from me not wanting to share with the team. Sometimes I didn’t have the transparency to give. Perhaps you are in the same situation where you don’t even have the answers yourself so you can’t help team members get the clear picture.

Something that I learned from my mentor was how to be transparent enough where people feel as though they are getting a good understanding of the landscape without specific details so that they can feel at ease even though you can’t necessarily share everything.

Number 3 – No direction or vision

A lot of managers when they first step in the role do not take the time to create their vision which is why their team lacks direction.

When team members don’t understand why they do what they do, where they are going, or why it matters it lends to a lack of trust.

I mean you can hardly blame a group of people for not trusting a leader that has no idea where they are going.


Number 4 – Inconsistency

My mentor used to say to me “One of the quickest ways to break down trust is leaving a person wondering if you are going to follow through on your commitments.”

This is true.

That period of wonder always makes people think is this person going to follow through on what they say?

But what makes that even worse is never actually completing what you say you’re going to do and getting distracted with shiny toy syndrome switching from one thing to another on a whim.

Why should I trust you if you don’t follow through on anything you say you will?

So there’s many other things of course that breaks down trust but I wanted to narrow it down to just a few.

Now if building trust is something that you are looking to do with intention with your team members then I highly suggest you check out the details of The New Manager Accelerator where I share plenty strategies that will help you build trust with your team members.