Building Trust with New Teams
- STEVEN R. COVEY
As the pace of change continues to increase, the demand on individuals and teams to become more agile is higher than ever. For organizations to successfully respond to changes in their external or internal environments, teams are often created, restructured, or eliminated. Whether you have a mixture of new and old team members or a completely new set of people working together, it’s critical to build trust as a team before goals can be accomplished together.
What is a team without trust?
It’s likely, if you’re leading a newly formed or restructured team, that there is a demand for the team to hit the ground running and produce results. While it’s true that we need our teams to be agile and ready to get to work, it’s also true that trust is the foundation of effective relationships which leads to organizational success. Without trust teams are unable to perform well. When teams are suffering from a lack of trust members often don’t communicate well with one another, avoid sharing information, and are less likely to be innovative, creative, or solve problems together.
Although the definition of trust can vary depending on the individual, the concept of trust is directly related to a sense of psychological safety. When people feel safe they are willing to open up, present ideas, take risks, and fail together as a team. When we don’t feel safe we battle over responsibilities, micromanage, and avoid collaboration. We may avoid speaking up for fear of retribution or damage to our relationships. The feeling of safety in our teams allows us to do our best work, innovate, and increase productivity as individuals and as a team. In fact, when Google studied what makes their teams successful, they found that the number one factor was psychological safety.
Actions to Build Trust
Some individuals automatically trust others, while some take more time to establish trusting relationships. The following actions can build trust between individuals or teams.
Build Trust with New Teams in 5 Steps
Explain why this team has been created or restructured. What is the team’s purpose? What is the team hoping to accomplish? Why were specific individuals chosen to be on this team?