As a small business owner, chances are you built your business on your own from the ground up. You
have a significant personal investment in the company. However, as your business starts expanding and
your clientele grows, it becomes necessary to rely on other people to get the job done and keep your
business running. You need to trust that the people you’ve hired will work diligently, efficiently and
genuinely to deliver an A grade job. Here are ways to gain that intimate respect and trust in your
These actions will help you create that environment full of trust, innovation and creativity for you and
your employees to grow in:
Often times, small business owners want to be a part of every detail. You may view yourself as being
proactive and helpful. However, this kind of behavior conveys a lack of faith in your employee’s decision
–making which in turn causes the employee to doubt their own abilities in getting tasks done. Let your
employees take more initiative, let them think critically, let them solve problems and avoid the urge to
tell them step by step what to do. You can remain involved in a positive way by posing questions such as
“Have you thought about..?” These questions show you value their thoughts and ideas, and that you
trust them to figure out how to get the job done.
Listening autobiographically occurs when you have a predetermined stance, and using this stance to
judge what your employee has said. This shuts down open communication. To avoid doing this, “listen
to learn”. Follow the effective sales pitch: Inquiry precedes advocacy the equivalent. Just talk
less (no interrupting!) and listen more. This will set the precedent for future, healthy
dialogue between yourself and your employees.
This will probably be the hardest but the most necessary action to practice. The old saying goes “If you
want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” However delegation of responsibility and tasks
is essential to building trust and allowing your employees to grow professionally. Giving more
responsibility to your employees gives them an opportunity to advance in their skills. They will become
self-motivated if their role in the company continues to grow. No one feels inspired if they feel their day
to day tasks do not affect the company.
Positive feedback always enables a person because it is empowering. Negative feedback only labels a
person. Once an employee has completed a task, acknowledge what was done right while pointing out
where expectations can better be met next time. And be consistent. When addressing the company, you
naturally speak with a positive and reinforcing message. Make sure that same message is clear when
speaking with an employee one-on one.
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