Mariya Jeliazova for Manager: Trust must go both ways – from leader to team, and from team to leader
18.01.2022 Share +
The great collaboration between people within our team comes from the ability to have open discussions, share ideas and from our willingness to help one another once we learn our strengths and weaknesses. More on team culture and the importance of being socially responsible shares our Comms Driver - Mariya Jeliazova, for Manager magazine. See for yourself:
- What is the secret to building and managing a well-performing and close team?
- I don’t think we can talk about a recipe that gives you the products, the order you need to put them in and how to prepare them – there is no secret ingredient. It’s a constant process of improvement, mistakes, active listening, understanding, empathy, mutual learning and realizing the power of what we can achieve together. I’m happy to work in a team that is very diverse in terms of personality types, experience, talents. The great collaboration between us comes from our ability to have open discussions, share ideas and from our willingness to help one another once we learn our strengths and weaknesses. Being close is possible only if there is trust. And it must go both ways – from leader to team, and from team to leader. Building trust is the result of open communication about responsibilities, expectations and priorities. I remember when I first joined TBI, one colleague in my team couldn’t hide their skepticism towards me and my ability to work well with them. What is more, this coincided with the first lockdown and our interactions were strictly online. Eventually, after months of extensive conversations, collaborating on projects and some challenging situations, presently I can count on this person 100% and they can count on me. “The breaking point” came when they realized I am a source of support instead of control. The lesson I learned, once again, is that open communication and perseverance do yield results.
- How important is it that a company is socially responsible and supports projects that benefit society?
- Every company is a community of people who are the driver of the culture and the values prevalent in the organization. If the management supports the people in this community in taking the time to share their ideas for charity causes, give them access to internal communication channels to inform their colleagues, then being socially responsible takes human instead of corporate form. This is exactly our model at TBI – everyone is free to share an initiative or a story that touched them and can urge their teammates to join in. There are dozens of charitable causes we support in one way or another. Among them are the purchase of a utensils sterilizer for hearing-impaired children, providing food products for the elderly, collecting children’s books for foster care establishments, improving the urban landscape by planting trees, changing the paint of children’s playgrounds and many more. Among the most recent ones was the participation of over 50 colleagues and partners in the annual charity Run2Gether event supporting people with disabilities. The impressive part is that after a colleague mentioned the cause, in just one week we managed to get this great number of participants (we were, in fact, among the biggest company teams). Apart from informing people and encouraging them to take part, the company covered participation fees and used the amount for the construction of an adapted career hub giving people of different abilities more professional opportunities.
- If you are an advocate for a charity cause, please tell us about it.
- Every charitable cause needs its advocates. I personally take part in different initiatives, one way or another. The ones of “One Percent Change” are especially moving to me because the organization’s model of doing diverse causes every month that are measurable, could be completed in a short period and have a long-term impact is extremely sustainable. The bigger goal is to change attitudes and help people realize that charitable giving is not a single act and if it turns into a habit, we will see a positive long-term change.
- What three qualities of a responsible business leader do you have?
- Personally, as well as professionally: prioritization, the ability to value and celebrate small victories so you could be motivated for bigger ones and being there for my team whenever they need my support.
- What and who do you turn to in difficult moments?
- Mostly to my family and friends, as well as to a few people I consider mentors. And, of course, to myself and my belief that, as long as we are physically and mentally well, we can find a solution to even the most complex problem.