“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” – Isaac Watts
One of the key components of effective team building is developing trust amongst the group members. An absence of trust in the workplace can make productivity an uphill slog and hamper progress on projects and performance.
Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing and you are willing to put yourself on the line in the belief of someone else. Without this sort of dependence within a team or organization, members can find themselves working at cross-purposes with each other.
As a manager, how can you build trust amongst your team and foster a strong bond that will enable productivity and cohesion?
The first step the leadership of an organization can take is to develop Emotional Intelligence. Taking the time to bring in a knowledgeable consultant such as Wise Ways Consulting, trained to administer EI testing such as the EQ-I 2.0 and EQ360 can help accelerate trust-building in the workplace.
Through self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation, and building social skills – the five categories of Emotional Intelligence – team leaders can properly develop and motivate their teams.
Once leaders know themselves, it is easier to find the strengths and areas for growth in others and work to develop those. The simple act of getting out from behind one’s desk, greeting people, and talking to team members while showing genuine interest in learning who each person is, will go a long way toward building trust.
When team leaders take steps to recognize successes, share failures, applaud people’s positive behaviors and individual growth, and respectfully address negative behaviors with constructive ways to improve, they set their team up for success by demonstrating the simple act of trust.
Can vulnerability build trust?
Absolutely! We have already discussed the intertwined nature of trust and vulnerability. The simple act of trusting that someone will deliver what is expected without micromanaging the process is an act of trust and vulnerability. Learn to sit with discomfort and allow team members to take the reins and prove they are worthy of that trust. Remember that they were hired because they are good at their jobs – allow them the autonomy to show you!
Being vulnerable is synonymous with learning to “sit in the discomfort.” This may simply be the discomfort of letting go, to stop controlling all aspects of the team’s mission, and giving ownership to the team in order to empower them in their roles within the organization. As control is released, teams become stronger as a whole and leadership is able to remove focus from day to day activities instead working toward shaping the organization’s long-term vision and strategic plans.
By employing techniques learned through completing the EI assessment, learning the concepts, and training the organization can work toward building trust and empowering a team.