Key Takeaways from this Episode:
What's a huge myth in the outsourcing world
- Key steps and strategies you can use to foster trust in your team
What you must NOT do
What to do if trusting your team remains a challenge for you
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“But how do I know I can trust someone I hire?” That’s one of the most common questions I’m asked when speaking at events about delegating. Many coaches and consultants struggle with the idea of outsourcing, not because they don’t want to get things off their plate and grow their business at the same time. But because they find it hard to trust that anyone will care about their business as much as they do.
Or maybe they struggle with trust because they have a bit of perfectionist in them and they are sure no one will do as good a job as they would.
Whatever the reasons someone struggles with this, lack of trust is a guaranteed killer in any delegation process.
The big question then, is HOW do we trust our team?
Today we are talking all about building trust.
Let’s first bust a huge myth in the outsourcing world. That myth? That all you have to do is FIND someone that you can trust.
Trust isn’t something that someone shows up with. It’s a two way street. If you don’t trust someone, the most trust worthy person in the world won’t look responsible to you. On the other hand, you can be the most trusting of person and that can backfire if someone isn’t trustworthy.
That means there are two levels to trust. What you do and how they respond.
Are you fostering a trusting relationship? Are you encouraging behaviors that promote trust? Or are you micromanaging things and looking for ways that they have failed?
This is a hard topic to cover because, done wrong, it will come across as accusatory and offensive. That’s not my intent at all.
I want each of you to listen with the understanding that these tips are meant to help, support and encourage trust in you so that you can do the same with your teams.
Lets’ break these down into some key steps and strategies you can use to foster trust in your team.
- Step 1: Take your time hiring. If you hire in a hurry, you are much more likely to hire someone that isn’t qualified and you’ll end up quickly doubting their abilities, for good reason. By taking your time when you hire, you can get more resumes, do careful evaluations and have a solid process for interviews.
- Step 2: Take your time training. Once you’ve hired the right person, you’ll want to take your time onboarding them. Help them to get up to speed with your systems and processes. Allow them adequate time and provide plenty of feedback so that they learn your business and your voice. If you hire task oriented team members, they may struggle with this. They just want a list of tasks to check off and might not make sure those tasks are an accurate reflection of your business goals and brand.
- Step 3: Start small. Trust is something that can be built like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it gets. But you can’t start by lifting a 100lb barbell when you’ve never lifted 10lbs. Start by assigning your team small tasks or projects that aren’t client facing or crucial to your business success. As you build confidence in their abilities, you can assign them increasingly more challenging tasks and projects.
- Step 4: Celebrate Successes. There are certain types of leaders that struggle with this concept. If someone does something right, well, that’s what they are getting paid for, no reason to give them a pat on the back for that. That’s not very conducive to getting more of what you want. This is one area where I love having my team take the 5 Love Languages quiz and find out how they like to receive acknowledgement. If they are a Words of Affirmation person, and did something well, I’ll praise them on our team calls. If they are someone who appreciates tokens of appreciation, I may send them a small gift card or special gift. Help your team celebrate what they are doing right and you’ll see them repeat those behaviors even more.
- Step 5: Managing mistakes. Mistakes WILL happen. It’s how you handle them that matters. We are ALL humans and our businesses are our babies. We care deeply about what happens within them and the image that the work portrays. If something is put out with a lot of bad grammar or mistakes, that could reflect badly on us. So we definitely don’t want to allow mistakes to just slide. Instead, we want to focus on HOW we are reacting to those mistakes. Take the time to offer feedback and allow the individual to correct the mistake they made. Do not, under any circumstances, fix the mistake for them. This will only continue to foster mistrust and won’t help them to learn from their lessons. Provide them with constructive criticism and regular feedback to help them continue to learn and grow.
One of our biggest challenges at Virtual A Team is when a client will ask for something but they don’t have a strong idea of what it is they want. We deliver a product based on the small amount of information they have given us, only to have them disappointed in the results and seeking out an alternative solution without giving us feedback and an opportunity to redo the work.
Trust is a process that comes when you and your team work through mistakes.
- Step 6: Delegate, don’t abdicate. Your role, as a leader with a team, is to support your team. While you may not be doing the hands on work, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone is on task and fully understands the project. When you assign a task and then never check in, that’s when mistakes are more likely to happen. Your team has no one to turn to and no guidance. And, if you haven’t encouraged them to ask questions, they will think it’s up to them to figure it all out and not bother you. Help your team by providing clear expectations, encouraging questions and making sure you are available but not micromanaging. I get it, it’s a fine line.
- Step 7: Finding their zone of genius. How do you feel when you are freed up to do your best work on the things that are in your zone of genius? Guess what, your team feels the same way! If you are asking your virtual assistant to do social media marketing but she really just loves to set up systems, there will be a gap and lots of mistakes.
I have 5 Directors on our team at Virtual A Team. Our directors are like Online Business Managers. They manage the details of your business and work with our team of experts to do the things that need to be done. They aren’t experts at everything. That wouldn’t be possible. But they aren’t even experts at all top level business topics. Some of my Directors excel in marketing. Others are stellar systems people and can help put together Standard Operation Procedures.
I have a crazy ability to assign the right Director to the right client. In the five years Virtual A Team as been in business, I’ve only gotten it wrong 3 times. That’s partly because I match zone of geniuses whenever possible. When I’ve tried to assign a Director because they had the capacity to take on a client but it wasn’t their strength, it cost me a LOT of money correcting that mistake.
Make sure you aren’t assigning tasks or projects that don’t fit the zone of genius of your team members. That’s a sure way to lose trust from both parties.
- Step 8: Fostering a sense of caring. When you first hire someone, it’s unlikely that they will see their position as anything more than a paycheck. You may get lucky and find the gem that has a passion for what you are doing and wants to be a part of it. Or you can help them develop that passion.
There’s one thing I’ve learned about our clients at Virtual A Team. They LOVE what they do and are on a mission to change the world. It’s our job to help them do that. When I first talk to a prospective client and when our team starts working with them, we dig deep into the why. Why is this client in this business? What’s their purpose and passion? What’s their motivation? When we know that, it dramatically increases how much we care about the business.
When you simply assign tasks without helping your team understand the big picture, they’ll lack the passion you have for making sure things are done well. That’s one of the big challenges with hiring freelancers on low cost or one-off sites. You’ll get a doer but they may not be giving you the same results that someone that cares about your business could.
Our culture has shifted. People care a lot more about the companies they choose to work for these days. Give them a reason to care.
- Step 9: Don’t Micromanage. The last tip we are going to share is this. STOP MICROMANAGING! True, you don’t want to entirely abdicate when delegating but it’s almost worse on trust to micromanage. Micromanaging is the best way to tell your team that you don’t trust them to do their job. You hired people to save yourself time. How is it actually saving you time if you are just spending it all checking up on everything.
Give your team clear instructions and leave the door open for them to ask questions when needed. And then let them do their job!
If managing a team and fostering trust is a challenge for you, it may be helpful to work with an online business manager who can handle a lot of these details for you. You’ll still need to work on some of those trust issues but it’ll be a bit easier when you have someone who knows what it should look like.
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Are you struggling to build a successful coaching business without burning the candle at both ends? Do you wish you had a copilot or business manager that could help you handle the details so you could focus on the things that only you can do? On this show, Nicole Bandes and her team of experts will serve as your coaching copilots. We will share tips, tricks, and strategies that focus on marketing, outsourcing, productivity, and more! Whether your goal is to grow your business, have a business that’s built around your life, or both; Coach’s Copilot: Your Online Business Manager Podcast will help you manage the details to make it happen.