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How can I build trust within my team?

31 May 2018

Trust is vital in a team. Without it, your team has no clear direction towards common goals. Resultantly, a number of problems can occur. E.g. poor sharing of information, lack of knowledge of roles/responsibilities, and lack of co-operation amongst the team. You may employ a skilled and talented team. However, if trust isn’t present, your team may never reach their full potential.

High performing teams are usually very trusting of each other. Which further bonds the team. Resultantly, goals are better achieved.

But how can you build trust within a team? In this blog, we will look at problems caused by lack of trust. And how these issues can be rectified.

Why is trust important at work?

As sense of trust creates a safety net. And as a result, team members talk more openly with each other. They are also more willing to take risks and make others aware of their vulnerabilities.

If trust isn’t there in a business, people spend more time protecting their interests rather than sharing, innovating and collaborating with each other. And ultimately, team goals are more difficult to achieve.

If staff aren’t trusting of each other, they may spend more time protecting their own interests rather than those of the business. Collaboration, sharing and innovating with each other may also be limited. Which can ultimately reduce the achievement of team goals.

Building trust is important for knowledge sharing. Because trustworthy individuals communicate and share knowledge better amongst the team.

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What techniques can I use to build trust amongst my team?

Lead by example. If you show others that you trust each member of your team, you are demonstrating to them what trust really looks like. If you make promises, make sure to keep them. And make swift, positive follow up for all enquiries.

Use open communication. Help build trust in your team by encouraging everyone to talk openly and honestly with each other. By creating a team charter, or arranging a meeting, this allows individuals to understand what is expected of them and also outlines everybodys roles. By meeting regularly with your team, this helps ‘break the ice’ whilst encouraging team members to talk to each other. It also allows people to discuss their issues. And solve problems.

Get to know people on a personal level. It is useful for your team to get to know each other on a personal basis. Which allows your team to bond better. Another way this can be achieved is through informal weekly discussion.

Avoid blaming people. If you have a culture of blame within your business, this can be poisonous. It creates an un-pleasant atmosphere, reduces morale and blocks productivity. In contrast, encourage your team to think constructively about mistakes. How can these be corrected? How can they be avoided in the future?

Don’t encourage cliques. Formation of cliques are inevitable in any business. However, they make others feel undermined or un-involved. In order to discourage this, build an atmosphere of openness and encourage everyone to become involved.

Openly discuss trust issues. Allow employees to complete a survey anonymously to outline potential issues. Once results have been collated, these can be discussed with the team in an anonymous way.

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Summary

Generally, highly productive teams are very trusting of one another. When trust exists in a team, common goals can usually be achieved. Team leaders should set examples by trusting everyone. And encourage staff to get to know each other on a personal level. Finally, never encourage cliques. Instead, attempt to create an atmosphere where everyone gets on equally and no one is left out.

Are members of your team un-trustworthy towards each other? Are your staff displaying negative attitudes which are eroding a trustworthy culture? Do cliques exist? I can work with business that are struggling with trust issues amongst employees. Book a 45-minute chat today. See how I can help you build a trustworthy atmosphere in your business.

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