When you think of a successful team, what are the first characteristics that come to mind? You might think of talent. Maybe you will consider experience or past accolades. You might even start to think about the potential of newer team members and what they can begin to add once they learn the ropes. While all of those things are important, there is one thing that no successful team can do without–trust. Trust is a key ingredient to any successful enterprise. Teams without trust can fail quickly even if they are highly talented. Teams with solid talent but lots of trust can go further than expected. Let’s take a look at why trust is so important to team building and why you shouldn’t overlook it when considering how to maximize your team’s ability.
How To Identify a Team With Trust Issues
If you have team members who don’t communicate or work well together, you may have a team with trust issues. A good way to identify trust issues is to take the time to chat with your team members individually on a regular basis. Ask them if they are finding it easy to work with their team members and if they are communicating well. Don’t just listen to what they are saying, check their body language as well. Most times, you’ll be able to see if your team members don’t trust each other. In the beginning of a team’s tenure, this makes sense. Team members need time to get used to each other. But when a team has been together for awhile and isn’t working well together, then you need to find a way to open up lines of communication and build trust.
Building Trust Takes Time
Team building isn’t something that happens in a few days or even a few weeks. It can take months for a team to truly reach its full potential. As team members have success working with one another, trust begins to build over time. Make sure that you recognize the successful efforts of your team. Positive recognition for a job well done is a great way to begin building trust.
Teams That Trust Each Other Are More Efficient
It should go without saying that teams that trust each other are more efficient. That is because teams that trust each other tend to communicate more, so there is less work overlap. Trust is associated with team members knowing and accepting their roles as well. When team members don’t trust each other, they can step on each others’ toes by performing duties that are assigned to another. This doesn’t happen with more efficient and effective teams.
You want to do your best to foster an environment where your team members can trust each other and perform to the best of their ability. This is going to take some time, especially for new teams. But it is important to your team’s long term success and sustainability that you take a major leadership role early on and facilitate the process of developing trust.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.