Building Trust Keeps the Team Strong

Trust. Why is it so fleeting?

Trust determines your relationships with your most intimate peeps, with your work colleagues, with strangers, with everyone. Some of us have the propensity to trust too much, others too little.

In a team environment, it is critical to trust your teammates. When a superstar athlete does not trust his teammates, he tries to do everything on his own, usually losing to the other TEAM.

In the work place, it is no different. I’ve always said that I’d take three capable and collaborative people over three extremely-brilliant people who can’t work together — or trust one another. The military understands this well, and breaks down new recruits until they are completely built back up in a team concept, learning to trust their fellow soldiers. This is because at times of extreme crisis, trust becomes critically challenged. In order to overcome difficult situations, teammates need to trust one another even more.

In the workplace, people must trust one another to build a powerful team. If people don’t trust one another, then micro-management, finger pointing, gossiping, politicking will begin to dominate. Most energy will be internally focused rather than outwardly toward customer needs or market opportunities and threats.

Building a trusting environment starts at the top. Leadership must show trust toward the team and vision. Then the leaders need to build an environment where failure is okay when trying to solve problems creatively. There needs to be a net for people who may fail, such as a good, clear escalation path and a mechanism by which each experience is used as a constructive learning lesson.

Such a strong, ever-improving team is much more scalable, sustainable and effective than a manager trying to “do it all”.

In all your relationships, do you have the foundation to build trust? In times of marital or parental crisis, your trust will surely be tested. And either you will have the core foundation to trust or you will not.