Trust is at the core of human relations, private and professional. The relationship teammates have with each other will influence their success, efficiency, and productivity.
When there’s no trust among colleagues, every effort made to achieve results can be erased. Not having trust in a team is a handicap. Without it, there’s no teamwork, no successful projects, no continually good results, no efficient and effective functioning.
On the other hand, teams who have taken the time to build trustworthy relationships will be high-performing teams.
We could say that interpersonal relations within a team resemble those in a family – both require a high level of mutual trust. Using this analogy, we could also say that team members are like siblings. They can have conflicting opinions or even fight amongst each other, yet still have each other’s backs.
So what does this mean for professional teams?
Well, for one, it means nurturing common values. Furthermore, it requires respect and understanding of every individual’s point of view. It also means a willingness to understand other people’s feelings and experiences.
Wondering how to build trust in a team? Start with active listening and accepting diversity.
What can team leaders do?
To encourage building and nurturing trust, team leaders will need to start with themselves. What comes first is self-trust. This means being self-conscious, that is, knowing how to manage yourself and your states. It’s about your daring to be vulnerable, to exhibit your authenticity, admit your mistakes, and show everyone that you’re human.
Leaders have to be ready to go on a self-discovering journey. They need to consciously manage their states and emotions, as well as to be honest with their teams. This is a secure way to set the grounds for team trust. Furthermore, communication will have a significant impact on building trust among team members. This means clear instructions, consistent messages, and transparency. Last but not least, leaders need to show integrity. If they want to build trust, what they say must be in line with what they’re doing.
According to research done by Zenger and Folkman, there are three key elements of trust. These include positive relationships, good judgment/expertise, and consistency. A leader has to set an example with their behavior, thus encouraging the building, strengthening, and maintenance of trust within a team.
For anyone managing a team, who wants to build trust, here are some recommendations:
- Let go of being in complete control.
- Be transparent.
- Accept that mistakes are a part of life.
- Admit that you, as a leader, can also make mistakes.
- Create a safety circle where people can be free to say whether they’ve made a mistake, aren’t ready to take on an assignment or need help and support.
- Set rules and follow them.
- Be consistent and fair.
- Be authentic.
- Have empathy.
- Balance your interest in results with your interest in your team members.
If you’re interested in reading more about how to build trust in a team, I suggest you read this article by Ken Blanchards’ team.
Or, if you’re ready to work on yourself through coaching, and are willing to find more ways to build trust in your team, you can schedule a session with me by clicking HERE. The first session is free.
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