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Creating Trust With a New Team


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All of us, at one time or another, will be faced with leading a new team.  Many times, as we progress in our career, we’ll become the leader of an existing team.  Other times, we might have the opportunity to hire and build a brand new team.  

Whichever scenario you find yourself faced with, there are some easy steps you can take to create trust and rapport with your new team.  Below are three approaches that I’ve found to be the most impactful.

Say Good Morning

I know this may sound so simplistic, but it matters. 

Years ago, I hired a new leader to our company.  She was incredibly talented but when she received her first engagement survey, she was devastated by how poorly her team rated her. 

Each day, she would get her computer set up and then head to her first meeting.  I asked if she ever said hello to her team, had any small talk or interaction and the answer was no.

Having conversations and taking time speak with people, shows them you care, and that is the foundation for trust.

 Shadow your team as they work

When you’re new to a team, it matters that you learn what your team does. 

I remember my first leadership role when I relocated to another office at my company.  I spent an hour or two with each of my team members during my first week on the job and learned so much about them, the work they did, what was working well and what wasn’t.  Not only did I quickly identify opportunities for improvement, which my leader loved, but I gained a lot of respect from my team. 

Have a round table with your full team + One on Ones

Pulling your team together can be a fun way to get to know them and also create a platform for them to share their feedback.

In my last Director role, I came into a team who had not been cared for by previous leadership.  They were experiencing high attrition, and there was a lack of hope that things would get better.

I led roundtables with each of my teams.  We had a fun ice breaker, and then I opened it up for feedback.I learned so much about them, and great information about where I needed to focus to make their experience better.

So remember, acknowledge your team, spend time with them ‘where’ they work, and be intentional when you’re with them.  Through these steps, you’ll gain trust with your new group.  You’ll also learn so much about your associates and where you can make a positive difference in their lives.  And after all, is that the goal of being a leader?