With many people still working from home, managers are having to work out how best to delegate in the virtual world – and how to trust that the work will be done.  You can’t make other people be trustworthy, but you can show trust in them.  

Getting to know people on a personal level develops trust, so finding virtual alternatives to the coffee machine chat are important – and making time to talk about personal things, not just the tasks. 

I was reminded recently of what I call the “Pyramid of Trust” which I believe comes from John Powell’s book Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?

Much of our communication at work is at the level of ritual, facts and perhaps ideas. We tend to be more cautious about sharing our opinions and judgements and it’s even more rare that we share our feelings. As people move from talking about facts and ideas to revealing more about their own feelings and values, the level of risk increases, but so does the level of trust and commitment. Taking the risk of revealing more about your own feelings, values and beliefs will engender trust in your team.

Doing this yourself also gives permission to your team members to raise worries or concerns with you and it’s an opportunity for you to build a supportive relationship with them in these challenging times.