While teaching a class last week on Team Building, we came upon the topic of trust. So... in the spirit of Tina Turner, "What's trust got to do with it?" (See what I did there?)
So here's the thing....
Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing. You believe in the person's integrity and strength, to the extent that you're able to put yourself on the line, at some risk to yourself.
Ah... now THAT seems a little more serious, doesn't it? As we're looking to inspire our people to give the company their all, if we neglect to build a solid footing on trust, we will never get through the 'forming' and 'storming' stages to the sweet spot where we function like a well-oiled machine. You know... that place where we're happy to go to work every day - where we actually ENJOY the projects we're working on and the teams we're working with?
Here are a few ways to consider building trust in your teams:
1.) Get to know your people, and let them get to know you! Building personal relationships in the work environment builds trust like little else. My last boss used to tell me stories of college days, was sure to fill me in on his wife's career, and even swapped recipes and brought in food once he'd tackled something new. It created a bond - a trust - between us that inspired me to give him my best at all times.
2.) Create vision. When your team can see your vision, and see themselves as a part of it, they will be more apt to trust you. Especially when you communicate it openly and include a clear picture of roles - theirs and yours.
3.) Recognize strength in adversity. If you get along perfectly with your entire team then you probably aren't being challenged enough to perform at your best. Strength is born in adversity, so if we can embrace that (and those that cause the adversity) rather than become frustrated by it, the trust factor will increase and each person's skills and talents will surface.
4.) Make it safe. There is no better way to squish the trust of your team than by providing an atmosphere where one or more of your players gets stomped on when presenting an idea. Watch out for those that fear to speak out. Instead, create an environment where they feel that ALL ideas could have value. This may mean wrestling for control from your more outspoken team members, but in the end no one wants to be on a court when their own players are against them.
Let's leave it with those four for now. It's summer, after all, and who has time to read on any further? I'll be back with a few more tips soon. In the meantime, consider these 4 things and ponder the trust that you're building into (or funneling out of) your team. After all, it's vacation time - and you really want a team that YOU can trust to watch after the office while you're on vacation!
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can trust to watch after the office while you're on vacation!