Do you trust your team…? If not, why not?

By Karen Amos

I reflected in a previous post how the current Covid-19 situation seems to have brought out the best and worst in people and never more so than in the behaviour of leaders, managers and businesses/organisations. We’ve had the whole spectrum, from unkind, exploitative and selfish behaviour at one extreme, to altruistic, brave and compassionate behaviour at the other.

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen plenty of examples of both, often in the same sectors. For example, schools who send tons of homework out, expecting staff to provide evidence of planning and marking and sending ‘strongly worded’ communications to staff, parents and pupils alike when deadlines aren’t met. On the other hand, there are the school leaders who have prioritised the welfare of the children and their families over ‘outputs’, leading from the front and doing whatever it takes to ensure people in their communities are OK during this time.

There are also the organisations and businesses who insist on checking up on their staff, expecting detailed daily and weekly reporting, just because people are working from home. Those who expect detailed timesheets to account for people’s working time. Alternatively, there are the leaders who have the conversation with their teams that say, ‘How are things for you right now? What do you need from us to make this work for you?’ – and actually listen to and act on the answers.

In essence, this comes down to a matter of trust. I often ask a question of business owners and managers – ‘Why do you continue to employ someone that you don’t trust to do a good job?’ My view is that we should do one of two things:

1.  Create the environment your employees need to thrive and do what they do well.

2.  Or if there’s a performance/attitude issue, get some advice and go down the capability/disciplinary route – and/or seriously think about evaluating how robust your recruitment systems are.

If you feel you can’t trust your teams, then it’s time for you as a leader to take action.  Ask yourself, ‘What’s going on here?’, ‘What’s the root cause of this problem?’ and be prepared to take action – remembering that you may actually be the problem.  Time to work out how you can be the boss you’d like to have.


If you would like to find out how BrightBird can help you build leadership performance and support your teams to remain positive and productive, get in touch for a no-obligation chat. We offer online 1-to-1 coaching support from senior leadership to front-line staff, group and peer coaching and training/webinars. 

Tel: 07714 855757 or email:

Karen Amos is an executive coach and founder of BrightBird Coaching & Training. She supports business owners and managers to get the best out of themselves and their teams. She brings a down-to-earth approach to improving working lives through better leadership, communication and working relationships.