Sometimes you just gotta trust

Why you absolutely must trust your team

Sometimes you just gotta trust

It’s hard to put total trust in your people sometimes, isn’t it? A big project is about to go live and you find yourself awake at night, worrying. All those disastrous worst case scenarios go round and round.  You wonder whether the staff member in charge really is on top of everything. What if? What if? What if?

It can really do your head in, can’t it? And makes it tough to focus on what you need to be doing.

How can I make sure things are done my way?

You know, I find that question so totally understandable. How can you possibly know that everything is being done exactly as you’d want it if you’re not doing it yourself? I coach lots of third sector leaders and managers who bring challenges like this to their fortnightly coaching sessions. How can they keep tabs on their team? What can they do to ensure they know exactly what’s going on? How can they make sure things are done their way?

Well, those are the questions they bring to coaching. But more often that not, what we end up talking about is how can they trust more.

And here’s why.

Trust, trust, trust

When you trust your people 100% and back them up 100% – even when you don’t know for absolute certain that everything will turn out ok – a few magical things happen:

  1. People feel trusted. This boosts their self-belief and makes them feel capable and competent, a great starting point for success
  2. People feel they can take action without checking in with you so the project moves along faster
  3. People are more willing to make creative decisions and take risks – the space of innovation and grand, game-changing leaps
  4. You can be absolutely sure that when they do need your input, support or guidance they will come to you
  5. Successes and challenges are not seen as right or wrong but as learning moments
  6. People get opportunity after opportunity to show what they can do and to realise their true potential
  7. You find you’ve created a dynamic learning environment with super-engaged staff – the very best environment for your people, your organisation, and your users and beneficiaries.

It’s a beautiful, virtuous circle. (If you’ve a few moments, take a look at my recent interview with charity CEO, Andy Cole, in which he talks about how trust is the bedrock of engagement).

Obviously, you need to be making great appointments in the first place and then ensuring that the right training and support is there.

But after that, trust your people to fly – and they surely will.When you trust you allow your people to fly

Over to you

So, what’s your experience of trusting your people? Do you find you’re able to let go and trust? Or do you have a desperate desire to micro-manage their every moment? I’d love to hear your experience, so do share by commenting in the Reply section below.

What next? 

If you want to develop a stronger culture of trust in your purpose-led team or organisation call me on 0208 772 7808 (or 07958 501 427) or email me at to see how coaching can help.


2 responses to “Why you absolutely must trust your team”

  1. Fiona avatar

    I agree with your main point, Katie – trust is king. I do think though that for our sector we need some monitoring tools in place in order to check from time to time that the trust is justified. And particularly cos our funders have their own stringent contractual demands. Another benefit of trusting your team is that it frees you up to get your own job done – that works for me!

  2. Katie Duckworth avatar
    Katie Duckworth

    Yes, of course, good point. With trust comes responsibility. People absolutely need to deserve the trust given to them. Thanks for your comment!