We all know how important trust is for teams. Without it, people feel devalued and demotivated. The best people leave.
Micro-management is a tell-tale sign trust is lacking. Second guessing each other is another. As companies define new ways of working for 2021, doubting the workability of the hybrid, partially distributed workforce might be another clue you’ve got trust issues. All of these are examples of how we seek to control others or circumstances when trust is low.
When these issues arise, the typical diagnosis is the leader doesn’t trust the team. I reckon there’s a bigger issue at hand. We can’t trust others if we don’t trust ourselves. And we can’t trust ourselves if we outsource our core need for approval, security and control.
Humans are tribal creatures and we’re wired to seek out the approval of others so that the tribe sticks by us. In our prehistoric past, our survival literally depended on the approval of the tribe to stay alive. Now it’s our unchecked ego or identity that feels threatened when it’s not getting external validation. When we can’t get enough approval to fill our security bucket, we’ll often turn to control as a means to soothe our threat responses. In other words, we control when we feel insecure about ourselves or our circumstances.
The antidote is to do the work to source your approval, security and control from within. That’s a bigger job for some than others. But geez it’s worth it - for you, your teams and everyone else in your life.