Teams that work well deliver outstanding results. We are all familiar with the saying that two heads are better than one. When it comes to teams, many heads are better than one. The combination of skills, knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm takes performance to a new level. Yet before a team really starts to perform there has to be trust. So what can you do to build trust in teams?

1. Set clear expectations

If a team is going to get results it needs to work together effectively. Working effectively depends on there being clear expectations of what is expected of individuals and the team as a collective. Setting clear expectations lays the foundations for trust as there are no hidden agendas.

2. Demonstrate your reliability

People will start to rely on one and other if they know that others will deliver on their agreed contributions. If individuals can demonstrate to each other than they can be relied on, there is greater scope for building trust. Reliability can be demonstrated in many ways and most powerfully by doing what you promised.

3. Create dependency

People often describe themselves as a team when in reality they are a group. Teams are dependent on each other to get the results from a specific performance challenge. Creating dependency means that trusting becomes a vital part in a successful outcome.

4. Being supportive

In teams, particularly those facing a major performance challenge, people often need to step out of their comfort zone and take chances. They will only do this if they feel that they can do it safely. Safety is created when people are supportive of each other. This supportiveness re-enforces safety and builds trust.

5. Create mutual accountability

Accountability is not something that is negative but a way of accounting for what has and has not been achieved. Creating mutual accountability where the team holds itself accountable not only for what is achieved individually but as a collective is a vital part in building trust.

Trust and lack of it can be what results in great or non performance in a team. So what action could you take to improve team performance?

By Anthony Ewing

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