Building Trust and Showing That You Care

PNC Park

PNC Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last post, I discussed Clint Hurdle’s leadership style and the impact he has had on the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. (  One of Hurdle’s secrets is that he first shows his players that he cares about them and that they can trust him.  Once Hurdle has established this trust, it’s easier for him to get the most out of his team.  So the next question for us is how do you, as a leader, build trust and show that you care?

It all starts with communication.  To build a trusting and caring work culture, you need to be able to communicate to your team members that you care about them.  Here are ten ideas that may help you with this communication:

1. Give employees a forum to express their concerns and needs.
2. Listen to their concerns and then respond to these.  Help where you can and be honest and open about the concerns you cannot address at this time.
3. Get out and see your team where the work is being done.  Practice MBWA – management by walking around.
4. When you are walking around, catch your team members doing things right and recognize their positive performance.
5. When you talk with individuals on your team, do you only talk about work?  Or do you ask about their lives outside of work?  Their families, hobbies, and interests?  If you only talk about work, they’ll soon get the message that work is all you care about.  That message means you care about work, not them as individuals.
6. Smile.  I’m sure you expect your team members to smile when they serve your customers.  So why don’t you smile when you serve your team members?
7. Keep your door open.  Can team members reach out to you when they have an issue?  Is your work environment open so that concerns and issues can be discussed easily and honestly?
8. Be honest.  The answer cannot always be yes.  So when the answer is no, be honest and open about why the answer is no.  Most people can live with no if we tell them why and help them understand our reasoning.
9. Provide training and development opportunities so your team knows you are committed to, and care about, their success.
10. Talk about goals and dreams.  As the leader, you spend time talking about your vision for the company.  Do you ever let your team members talk about their goals and dreams?  Listening to their goals and then helping them achieve these goals, is a great way to show you care.

These 10 ideas should get you started at building a trusting and caring culture in your organization.  There are other ways to show you care and I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.  How do you show your team that you care?

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


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