“Trust the process” was a slogan used by Fans of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, and now a popular term used in so many arenas from sport to culture and business. It’s a phrase that encourages our perseverance and patience, when we are trying to achieve a goal or a task and wanting a good outcome. Even if it is taking time or obstacles get in the way, we should continue working towards our outcome, by trusting the process and working with an open mindset.
Recently I had to remind myself of this, you may have read in a recent blog, that I have rekindled my love for cooking and decided to make the classic French dessert Crème Caramel. Whilst making the caramel sauce, the process was to let the sugar melt in the water, with clear instructions not to touch or stir the pan! Yet, the process seemed an eternity and the temptation to intervene was there, and in those moments, which seemed endless, I remembered ‘trust the process’.
So often we lose sight of our end goal or outcome and find ourselves rushing, taking short cuts, by early intervention, or simplifying the procedure. This can be to reduce costs, time, resources, or effort, only to find ourselves disappointed when the results are not coming, or that the outcome has not been successful.
I did trust the process and the result was an excellent outcome that was also delicious, however, what if I had intervened by not following the guidelines? It would not have worked out, costing me time, money, and probably frustration! Convert this to our working life, sometimes intervention with good or bad intentions can lead to negative outcomes.

Examples of intervention

Challenging what has already been tried and tested and works, thus undermining the procedure/structure (and possibly undermining the person(s) who have created the process).

The process is too slow, costing too much time, affecting budgets and you decide to take over to get a quick fix result? The outcome was not achieved!
When someone else or others have been allocated the task and for whatever reason you feel the need to intervene. You step in with action or advice, and although your intervention is to support/help it may come across as micro-managing rather than giving the person(s) space to get on with the job. It undermines the situation and all involved, as well as their autonomy.

These examples not only break the trust in the process, it also shows a lack of trust in colleagues and team members, which may then result in a breakdown of relationships, and communication or conflict management issues. Does this resonate with you? Have you ever felt like you were being micromanaged, or have you gone to help, and it has ended in breakdown or poor relationships with your team?

Ways to Trust the Process and build confidence in yourself and your team.
In order to trust the process, or the procedure and the people (teams, colleagues, peers), think carefully about why, when, and how to intervene. When we jump in without thinking it through, we often act with the wrong, fixed mindset. Develop attributes such as patience, discipline, openness in order to move to a more open, growth mindset, so not only is there trust in the process, but also the people, resulting in a better outcome. We need to make space, use silence, to actively listen with interest, rather than listen to reply and continuously keeping learning from each other to ‘Trust the process’ and to succeed.

It is vital in every situation that you are reflecting on what you are learning, not only in the process, but also with yourself and others by asking:
‘What did (I) (we) learn?’
‘How can (I) (we) improve?’

This way, you start to develop trust with each other, develop confidence, and building better and stronger working relationships.

Tips to Trust the Process:

  1. Stay Calm. Rather than commenting or how you feel, even if the process is too slow, remain open-minded and refrain from making negative comments. By staying calm, you will reduce your anxiety/fears/hyper vigilance of what may go wrong and will also create a calm working atmosphere for you and your colleagues.
  2. Value yourself and others. You are all in the same team/workspace and all are making and bringing value to projects/tasks. By allowing others to develop, you too are building confidence in yourself and helping other people with their confidence levels.
  3. Believe in the process, objective and the outcome. Set time for others and always show support, you are there if they need your help or advice, there is no need to step in unless required. Be a kind colleague/mentor!
  4. If you have been allocated the task, and are not clear on the process, then don’t be afraid to ask questions, to create clarity with your team or your manager, rather than go alone and find you are lost in the process.
  5. Focus on the outcome, know, and trust yourself, others who are involved and the process/structure, it will get you there!
  6. Whatever, the result good or bad, continue to learn from it, build your mental muscles to help develop adaptability and the right mindset.
  7. Enjoy the Process!

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