One of the key ingredients within any successful team, both in and out of the workplace is trust. Without it, your team simply won’t perform to the best of their ability or work as effectively as they could do.
Unfortunately trust can’t be forcibly created, it has to be earned individually by each team member which can make it difficult for managers to help to encourage and facilitate the type of relationship building which results in trust.
What is trust and why do you need it in teams?
Trust can be defined as relying on somebody else to do the right thing. Trust is an important part of an effective team and primarily it provides a sense of safety for the members which means they will be able to open up and expose their vulnerabilities. This in turn will allow team members to balance out other’s weaknesses with their own strengths and vice versa.
When individuals trust their other team members, it creates an environment which encourages; creativity, innovation and problem solving. Teams without trust will rarely have the capacity or ability for these.
How do you build trust in teams?
- Demonstrate opening up
By opening up yourself, you will encourage your team to do the same. You can do this most effectively by sharing past failures and how you overcame them.
- Build more personal relationships
A key way to build trust within your team is to help members get to know each other on a slightly more personal level as opposed to a completely professional one. Politely chatting about families or hobbies can help team members to bond and encourage a more genuine relationship.
- Prevent cliques
Although encouraging team members to bond through common interests can help to build trust, you must ensure that this does not result in cliques which can occur when certain team members bond better than others. For those not included within the clique, this can prevent trust building and therefore have the opposite effect.
- Outside work
Encouraging social activities outside of working hours can help to build trust within teams. This could be specific structured team building days or even just a casual meet up in a cafe or a pub. This gives the team a chance to relax and enjoy some time together where they don’t have to focus on projects or performance. Team members will be more likely to open up in these situations and this will help to build trust within the team.
If you think your team could benefit from some trust building exercises, get in touch with a member of the team.