Many managers tell me that the level of trust that exists in the team could be better. They often quote some of the main behaviours that reduce trust within a team, which include:
* Sending mixed messages of inconsistency
* Being more concerned about their own wellbeing than that of others
* Avoiding taking responsibility for actions
* Jumping to conclusions without checking facts first
* Hiding or withholding information that would be of benefit to others
Here’s an exercise to help you begin the dialogue about the level of trust within your team.
Put the following words on a blank sheet of paper, well spaced out:
Prepare one sheet for each team member.
Ask each person to select three words that best describes your team and circle them.
Ask them to anonymously give the paper to you.
Count up the words that have been circled.
Post the results.
Lead a team meeting on the words receiving the most votes, and those receiving fewer or no votes.
If there are negative words on the list, discuss the word they would rather use to replace the negative one.
Discuss changes needed to aspire to the desired state within the team.
If you carry out this exercise purposefully and honestly, you build the relationship in the team and get them to identify how trust can be generated. Merely having the discussion can often help alleviate a lot of the problems associated with lack of trust. And if the team themselves work toward curbing the negatives that reduce trust, you form greater ties with them and will see the rewards of trust in the results you obtain.
Originally published: 17 April, 2011
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