Trust Within Teams

How does your team perform? Could it be that your team does not have an adequate level of trust to foster success? All teams must have a basic level of trust. This may seem simplistic and obvious in nature; attaining team trust is not always easy. Trust within a team means that members are not personally judgmental. Insuring your team focuses on the concern, not the person is critical. As a leader, it is your responsibility to hold your team accountable to this standard. Teams that have a solid level of trust also speak and act in terms that illustrate they have the best interest of the other person or the team in mind. Members of a solid team do not allow personal objectives to interfere with the progress of the team.
Members of a solid team also provide solid feedback. Feedback means providing data and information to other individuals that is useful, focused on the team or objective, and not used as a personal attack. The other half of providing solid feedback is receiving feedback properly. As the receiver, one must not take the information personal; rather, build on the information provided to improve the team. For instance, if a member of the team gave me feedback that I need to be less critical of suggestions they gave in meetings, my response should be, “Thank you for the feedback. Can you give me a suggestion of what you mean and how I should react to suggestions as the come up in meetings?” I would then have them explain what that looks like and then restate the information back to them as I understood them. Finally, I would ask if I understood them correctly. If yes, thank them again, and begin to work on this issue. This is a minor issue and may have other surrounding issues, such as this person uses the meeting to give suggestions that are counterproductive to the team. If they came to me first, I must deal with that first; however, I should have provided them feedback that I feel they provide information that is counterproductive to the team during meetings…and explain what that looks like from my angle.

The most important point here, providing feedback is healthy and important. How it is received is just as important.

Source: Lencioni, Patrick. (2008). The 5 dysfunctions of a team. Jossey-Bass.

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