New Boss and Building Trust with Employees

Communicate with your team; don’t just talk.  Ask your team questions and listen to the answers and suggestions.  It is important to sit down and talk to your new team as often as possible.  Ask your team for ideas and feedback; the good, the bad and the ugly.  This helps to keep the lines of communication open.

Be confident as the new leader.  Also show confidence in the team’s ability.  Let the team develop the skills they need to be successful.  Encourage and boost the team’s confidence and remind them no idea is to outrageous to consider.


Commit to your team as much as they commit to you, if not more.  This will develop over time.  Commitment comes naturally with a constant stream of communication and mutual respect.  Commitment mean trusting your team to do their jobs.

Being a successful leader boils down to trust and respect.  If you show your team that you trust and respect them, they will respond in kind. Your team will also be more engaged and productive. “How Every New Boss Should Build Trust with Employees” April 8, 2017, Kammi Skrzypek

Myths about Discipline

#1:  As long as an employee is performing well, there is nothing I can do about their bad behavior.

It is important to bring the inappropriate behavior to the employee’s attention in a timely manner, discussing ways the behavior may be corrected/resolved and reviewing with the employee the position description and expected performance standards.  The employee needs to know that the inappropriate behavior is just that, inappropriate and is expected to stop.

#2:  Employees should already know what are my expectations and standards.  If they don’t meet them I can discipline them.

Gather facts before exploring the possibility of disciplinary action.  Find out the who, what, where, when, and how. Were there witnesses? The most important question to ask is to yourself, “Have I set clear expectations?”  If the answer is no, the next step is to set clear expectations, not discipline

#3: “At-will” employees may be terminated at any time for any reason.

At OSU we expect to give employees due process prior to being terminated. Employees should have the opportunity to give their side of the situation.  We need to look into the accusations.  The termination must be legal and nondiscriminatory; may not appear to be retaliatory, may not be based on age, religion, race, gender, sex or any other protected status and may not be in response to the employee engaging in a protected activity. “3 Myths About Faculty and Staff Discipline” October 16, 2017, Jill Thompson

How to Become Connected

As many of us know, success in business (and in life) often comes down to who you know, not what you know.    Some of the most well connected people have networks so strong that they are able to make anything happen in two phone calls or less.

There are five habits that will help you foster the relationships that will lead to a powerful network:

  1. Be generous, the best relationships are built on a mutual desire to give value to the other person. Both parties should focus on giving, not receiving, this will foster a genuine bond that goes deeper than the value of the exchange.  This will help build mutual trust.
  2. Listen well, people want to be heard and understood. Develop self-awareness and notice if you are truly engaged in the conversation.  A quick and easy way to be a better listener is to stop interrupting.
  3. Treat others the way you want to be treated, strive to have a good reputation. Building a positive reputation will take time, however, it is vital to building relationships.  Consistently treat others the way you want to be treated, this is the best way to build a stellar reputation.
  4. Celebrate others’ accomplishments, this makes people feel good. This doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture it could be just a quick congratulation on social media or an email.  Although a phone call or in person celebration is even better.
  5. Focus on quality, focus on fostering a few key relationships, rather than trying to spread yourself thin across as many people as possible. The best networks are created through depth, not breadth.

Meaningful relationships are built with intention, honesty, generosity and sincerity.  There are no shortcuts. “5 Habits of the Most Connected People” July 26, 2017, Andrew Thomas