For any team to be successful over the long run, they must have trust. Trust allows members to take risks, have healthy conflict and debate, openly discuss their weaknesses, share information and knowledge, and offer help to one another.
Without trust, team performance will quickly plateau, or deteriorate all together.
How do you then facilitate trust within a team?
One of the best ways has nothing to do with business itself. Trust will naturally build when you allow people to get to know one another on a personal level.
When encouraged and given opportunities to share about our lives we learn about one another’s beliefs, values, goals, and what we each stand for. This allows us to see what we have in common with each other.
When we believe we share similar values and beliefs, we trust that people will think and act similar to us. So we can go about our work confidently with the understanding of how others will behave towards us and our actions.
By believing that we have similar values and goals, it allows us to discuss difficult topics with mutual respect knowing doing so is necessary to reach our shared goals.
Shared goals also allow us to feel more comfortable being vulnerable and sharing weaknesses. If we believe we are united under the same purpose, we trust that others will not use these against us, but will help us with them instead. We will work to build on one another’s strengths.
To improve team performance, forget about performance. Start with a cup of coffee and a conversation about what you did on the weekend.