What to do When You Don’t Trust Your Team (Harvard Business Review)

By Dr. Wanda Wallace and David Creelman


Do you trust the people on your team? It’s an uncomfortable question to ask, because as good leaders, we work hard to create a supportive environment and earn the trust of the people who report to us. But what if you don’t trust them?


Again, as a good leader, you’d have to be able to have an open and honest conversation with that direct report, with plenty of constructive feedback, to try to get that person to change their behavior, right? No, not always. The problem could be more about you.


In our executive coaching work, we’ve discovered some patterns when it comes to this problem– and almost always these patterns have more to do with the leader’s own perceptions of what’s going on than with the team’s actual behaviors. Here are the most common triggers of distrust, and what you can do to work through these issues on your team.


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