The foundation of a team


Teams are successful when the people within them build relationships based on a solid foundation of trust. This goes for work teams, sports teams, and even families and friends. Without a foundation of trust, a team will not be able to continually produce good results, and last for the long-term. They may achieve good results once or twice, but dysfunction and insecurity will eventually erode connections.

How is this trust built? A good relationship between any two people consists of three aspects – respect, equity and empowerment. When evaluating our own relationships with team members ask yourself these questions:

Do I respect this person, and feel respected by them?

Respect is shown when we strive for understanding, when we choose to communicate both the good and the bad, when we work towards consensus and through our disagreements, and when we honour our commitments.

Do I value what they bring to the table, and feel valued by them?

Equity is when we feel both people in the relationship bring equal value to it – no one’s contributions outweigh the other person’s and thus power is shared. Equity can take the form of money, knowledge, connections, time and energy, and more.

Do I feel we have the capability of meeting our goals together?

Every team has goals – that is the point of coming together after all. Relationships have trust when we feel capable of taking action. This means we feel we can make an impact, take ownership, lean on partners, and take responsibility for results.

When you can answer “yes” to these questions, you know your building the trust needed to sustain lasting relationships in your team. Teams with respect, equity and empowerment create the enthusiasm necessary to face new challenges, innovate, and persevere in the face of hardships.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Have you been part of a team that lacked respect, equity and/or empowerment? How did it impact the team’s ability to reach its goals?

  2. How does a lack of respect, equity and/or empowerment impact the feelings team members have for one another?

  3. What can you do as a team to ensure you maintain respect, equity and empowerment between members?

Kick Ass Zombie Hunter