Think about some of the teams that you have been on in the past. For the good examples that come to mind, it is a good chance that there was always a strong sense of trust amongst the team. To have any group of individuals working effectively together, it is important to build trust in a team. Furthermore, building this shared trust is the fundamental cornerstone of any successful team.
This article discusses eight different ways that you can build trust in a team. If you can successfully build trust in a team, you will watch your productivity, efficiency, and organization improve as individuals are able to begin working collectively as one.
1. It Is Okay To Fail
One key way to make sure that your fellow team members have trust in the team as a whole is to accept that failure is a natural and normal thing to experience.
Rather than treating it like the end of the world, show your team that it is okay to make mistakes as long as they learn from them.
Instilling this belief in your team will help to build communal trust. Furthermore, team members will be more willing to take risks knowing that there will not be significant consequences if the risks do not pay off.
Additionally, by emphasizing that mistakes are just learning opportunities, you will also be fostering an environment of growth in your team.
The emphasis should not be if someone on your team made a mistake, but rather on if that individual can grow and learn from their slipup. Being able to turn a failure into a learning opportunity will foster collaboration and will create a shared sense of trust.
2. Don’t Micromanage
Trust in a team runs both ways. How can your team members be expected to trust you if it looks like you do not trust them to do their own jobs?
To help build a culture of mutual trust and respect in your team, ease up a little bit when you feel yourself starting to micromanage them.
This will demonstrate that you trust your team to get their work done without your constant guidance. Additionally, it will inspire a positive team spirit.
Similarly to how you want your team to trust you, it is equally important to visibly show them that you trust them as well.
While frequent updates may be required for the project you are trying to accomplish, if possible, let your teamwork for extended periods without you intervening. This way, you are instilling confidence in your team members that they will complete their jobs as required, without your constant supervision.
When trying to build trust in a team, have faith that each team member can sufficiently perform their intended task. Before trying to micromanage all aspects of a project, show your team members that you have faith in them completing tasks on their own.
3. Maintain Accountability
Although it is important to step back if you feel yourself starting to micromanage your team, you cannot go too far in the other direction. The result of this is to risk losing a shared sense of accountability within your team.
Make sure that your team still understands what your expectations are and what the consequences are for failing to meet them.
Having clear and consistent standards will put your team members’ minds at ease by letting them know the expectations, but allowing them to plan out their work and means of accomplishing the required tasks.
When starting a new project with a team, make sure to be upfront with them from the beginning about what you expect of each member.
Furthermore, once you set your standards, be sure to give ample notice before changing them. This is not to say that you cannot change your standards, but rather a warning against changing them at the last minute.
Having unclear standards will erode the trust that you have worked so hard to build in your team.
4. Make Your Goals Realistic
Another note when trying to build trust in a team is to make sure that the goals you have for your team are realistic.
If you try to enforce goals that are impossible for them to achieve, how can you reasonably expect them to trust you or each other?
Make an effort to ensure that your goals are realistic and achievable. By doing so, it will motivate your team members to achieve those goals and help foster trust within your team.
For example, if you are starting a new project with your team, set realistic expectations with structured goals. Focus on creating a plan with actionable items that will lead to achieving those goals.
5. Don’t Play The Blame Game
This rule goes for the entire team. When mistakes happen, which they are bound to, make sure that your team members are not trying to blame others for their own shortcomings.
On the same topic, do not let yourself place the fault for your own mistakes on your team. Any pointing of fingers will erode the culture of trust you have worked so hard to build in the team.
Instead, encourage your team to be responsible enough to own up to their own mistakes. Seeing other members of your team take responsibility for their faults will also encourage your other team members to follow suit.
This culture of accountability will also help to build trust in each other and in you as the team leader. Conversely, any sorts of infighting and finger-pointing will break the team’s trust and make working with one another unpleasant.
6. Match Your Words With Your Actions
As the leader of the team, it is up to you to make sure that you follow up your words with the appropriate actions.
Being a hypocrite while leading your team is one way to ensure your team members lose confidence in you as a leader and their trust in the team as a whole.
Furthermore, as the leader, you should be setting a precedent for others to follow. If team members can not trust you as their leader to come through on your promises, why should they act any differently?
When meeting with your team, make sure that you follow up on any promises you make with the appropriate actions. Seeing you keep your word to the team will both foster confidence in you as a leader and make your team trust in each other.
7. Help Your Team Work
If you see ways to step in and help your team shine, do so in a respectful way. While the dangers of micromanaging were discussed above, if you see a member of your team struggling to complete a task, don’t hesitate to step in and help.
For example, if one of your team members is struggling to complete a specific task, there is nothing wrong with stepping in to help them get over that hurdle.
It doesn’t mean complete the task for them, but instead, ask probing questions that will lead them to the right answer. Alternatively, provide some insight based on your experiences on how they can solve the current problem they are facing.
Doing this will have several overall benefits to your team as a whole.
Firstly, it will increase productivity by removing roadblocks from your team members.
Secondly, it will help your team grow by using these little interactions as teachable moments.
If you are helping with a relatively minor problem, showing your team how to complete a task will let them be self-sufficient in the future.
Finally, showing that you genuinely care will make your team members care and help to build trust in the team.
8. Remember, Everyone Is Human
This can concisely sum up most of the points made above. Remember that everyone on your team is human.
There will always be some instances where your team slips up. However, as long as you handle these as teachable moments and not as personal failures, your team will respect and trust you as a leader.
Setting unrealistic goals or tearing team members down when they fall short of your expectations will destroy their confidence and any trust that you have built will fall to pieces.
Instead, if you focus on communicating clearly and effectively, your team will take your message without any difficulty. When you notice that your team is stuck on an issue, stepping in to help them solve it will help them to trust you as a leader.
In short, show your team members that you care about achieving success as a team and accomplishing goals together. As a result, you will inspire them to continue to build trust in the team.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count