Building a Team that Trusts / by John Hailes

We encounter teams in so many areas of our lives; which means that we are surrounded by the best and worst examples to learn from!

The very fact that we are surrounded by so many failing teams suggests that it’s easier to fail than succeed when developing teams. Sports is an obvious example; each season more teams struggle than excel!

The effectiveness of teams rests upon an often volatile foundation which consists of a number of things including unity. Unity isn’t a fixed concept but fluid and therefore must be managed. One of the greatest contributors to unity is TRUST.

Without Trust; communication is weakened, failures are hidden, individuals perform under par, healthy motivation is lacking, fear consumes people and others silo.

Many teams naturally have trust, but once it has been lost it won’t naturally recover. Trust must be built back into the team culture to allow wounds to heal.

Here are some ways leaders can set that culture…

Set Clear Expectations Early

Unity often breaks down when tough decisions have to be made or discipline has to be taken on team members. Do yourself a favor and set clear expectations early on that people can follow and use to understand your leadership!

Be Honest about your Motivations

Nothing spoils people’s trust like seeing hidden agendas in leaders. Be clear about your motivations behind decisions and actions. People may not like your decision or reasoning, but at least they will be able to respect your honesty.

Value People’s Privacy

Leaders with loose lips quickly lose the confidence of their followers. Don’t share private information about one team mate with other team mates. It’s a basic rule, but it’s easily missed. Anyone you share gossip with, will know you gossip about them.

Act in People’s Best Interests

Sometimes the bottom line isn’t the most important thing. Don’t value the outcome and effectiveness of the team more than the people that make up the team! Where ever possible act in the best interests of the people in the team! If you sacrifice hurting the team members in search of a profit or win, down the line you will likely ruin team effectiveness.

Value Loyalty

Teams with long lasting team members often outperform those teams full of fresh faces. Be loyal to your team and value loyalty in them. This may not always be profitable in the moment, but it’s much more effective in the long run!