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How to build trust in your program: Show trust to your players and coaches

Trust is vital in any successful organization. Employees who feel trusted by their superiors have greater confidence in their work, put in extra effort and are more productive in their roles. Conversely, those who do not feel trusted put in less effort, are less productive and are more likely to leave if given the chance.

So, how does a coach engender trust in his assistants and his players?

The short answer: show trust in his assistants and his players.

Writes the Harvard Business Review:

The onus to grow mutual trust is on the manager. That means not only cultivating employees’ trust, but conveying prudent, incremental trust in them. Managers need to adequately scope assignments, grant resource authority, and not undermine it later. Ceding control also requires a certain tolerance for mistakes. Rather than taking harsh corrective action, treat employee mistakes as opportunities to facilitate learning.

Another way to create trust? Being open and honest with information.

Managers are often reluctant to share information and explain their decisions for fear of premature leaks, second-guessing, or dissension. Being transparent signals that you trust your employees with the truth, even in difficult circumstances. 

For head coaches not sure if the team around them feels trusted, HBR suggests asking yourself these seven questions (modified by me for football coaches):

  1. Do I show my assistants/players that I feel confident in their skills?
  2. Do I show my assistants/players that I care about their welfare?
  3. Do I show my assistants/players that I think they are capable of performing their jobs?
  4. Do I give my assistants/players influence over the things that affect them most on the team?
  5. Do I give my assistants/players the opportunity to take part in making football-related decisions that affect them?
  6. Do I encourage my assistants/players to take risks?
  7. Do my words and deeds convey how much I trust my assistants/players?

If you're still not sure how to instill more trust in your organization, read the full piece here.