Four Tips on Building Trust as a New IT Executive

In new role as an IT executive, or manager, you are charged with learning the ropes in a new organization while also attempting to gain people’s trust. Your IT and leadership expertise does not make you inured to the trials of being new and learning the machinations of a new company. Use your early days to show that you are vulnerable and that you require the support of your team.

Understand the organization and the key personnel who will help you achieve business objectives. Start by building an organizational map and meeting as many personnel as you can. Only when you grasp the lay of the land, should you try to effect it. Enlist the help of your team. Invite their feedback, hold meetings, and learn. The most valuable information and ideas are often from those who work directly with clients and who experience day-to-day operations.

Listening is a leader’s most powerful tool. Vanessa Merit Nornberg of Inc. reports on the ways that a casual remark can carry substantial business implications. As the listener, you receive valuable information that can be useful in formulating strategy. The speaker processes information in its delivery, which is of benefit in itself. If the listener acts on the information; mutual trust is established.

According to Rich Hein of IT News, if the company is in crisis mode, quick action will not help and may cause more damage. Unless staff trust and respect you, your efforts will be in vain. If imminent action must be taken, identify those most likely to understand the situation and target them initially. Only when you have a solid understanding of the organization is it wise to make changes.

Once you are further along the learning curve, you can start to formulate strategy and opinions. Ensure the buy-in of those involved. Communicate your plans, but invite the feedback of others and act on it. Doing so will reinforce mutual trust. Staff will be more inclined to support your ideas if you actively support their ideas.

Start small. Report on the project results. Use transparent communication; not to toot your own horn, but to congratulate team efforts and to cement mutual trust. If mistakes were made in a project, report that too, and plan a course of action for the team to learn and improve. Leaders expect mistakes because they are necessary for growth and development.

Effective management requires a desire to empower employees and an organization to achieve their potential. Tough decisions are easier if your staff trust and respect you. It takes time, but transparent communication builds trust and confidence. Contact A&A Search to start building a winning team.