Trust. It's a must have if you want to develop a high capacity team.
If you've ever been on a team that didn't trust each other, you know how difficult it is to function properly.
In fact, I would go so far as to say without trust, all you have is a bunch of individuals trying to nudge other team members out and striving to get "first place" on the team.
But when you do have trust on a team, cooperation happens which leads to each member becoming stronger and more effective. Goals get met. Average turns into extraordinary. Good becomes great.
So how do you build a team that trusts each other? Trust doesn't happen by accident, it has to be build into your team's DNA and that takes some time to accomplish.
Let's look at some steps that can help you build a team that trusts one another.
1. Trust is relying on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone else. When there is trust, team members feel safe with each other. They feel comfortable opening up and taking risks, leaning on collaboration and protecting each other. This results in team members sharing knowledge and communication. It also helps confirm that no one has any "hidden agendas."
2. Let trust start with you. Show your teammates that you trust them. Give them assignments and then don't come behind them and try to control or micromanage their steps for completing the assignments. Give them the big picture and the trust them to figure out the steps to get there.
And when you have important information, don't hide it or try to use it as leverage. Share with the team the pertinent information and trust them with it.
3. Get to know each other personally. The more you know about a fellow teammate, the more you will trust them. Have team members share about their family, hobbies, life highlights and everyday struggles and challenges. A great time to do this is at the beginning of team meetings. Set aside 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting for team members to share about their past and present life situations.
4. Direct communication. Team members must be committed to open, straight-forward, meaningful conversations. Issues must be addressed and talked thorough face-to-face. Trust isn't built by email, text messages or by second-hand conversations. It happens by direct communication. It sometimes happens through hard conversations. But that makes sense does it not? Because trust is earned, not given.
5. Have clearly defined expectations. Give team members specific assignments they are to complete. Encourage them to collaborate and work together. Be very clear about who will be accomplishing what during the project. Everyone on the team should know who is responsible for the different assignments being completed.
Remember...it takes time to build trust...and you get there 1 small step at a time. Why not let today be the day you take a step toward team trust?
Lead the way with establishing trust.
Get to know your teammates.
Use direct communication.
Set clear expectations.
Trust me. Follow this and it will bring trust for you and your team.