Trust is a fundamental element for building teamwork. Trust means that team members are reliable, accountable and will treat people with respect.
But trust needs to be earned. When new teams are formed, trust is usually low because team members don’t know each other well and tend to want to feel each other out.
For teams to move from the first stage of team development to the second stage they need to participate in setting ground rules, goals and objectives, procedures etc. They need to organize themselves and this requires discussion for everyone to give their input on decisions.
Making and Keeping Agreements
When people keep their agreements, trust is gained. When agreements are broken so is trust. An agreement is a verbal or written commitment from one party to another. Agreements need to be clear, so the expectations are clear as well. Fuzzy agreements create a potential for conflict and confusion.
Think of a recent situation when someone did not keep their agreement. How did you feel? Has this happened often with this person? What is your trust level on a scale of 1 to 10 for this person?
People should only make agreements or commitments that they can keep.
When people keep the agreements and commitments they become credible. We can believe that what they say they will be done. They become dependable.
Treating others with fairness and respect gives people credibility and makes them trustful.
When people are consistently truthful we know we can trust their words and actions. When we feel we are being listened to and understood we feel we can be open with that person.
Open people are unafraid about admitting their mistakes. They have nothing to hide.
The above elements lead to trust in relationships and among team members.
Everyone can perhaps be better at one of these elements. Review the descriptions and choose one thing you can work on to gain greater trust from others.
More and more Fortune 500 companies are doing away with the practice of annual employee performance evaluations. The perception seems to be that this practice does not contribute to employee performance and is dreaded by both managers and employees.
Should you keep, stop or start doing employee performance reviews in your organization?
The goal of having people work in a team rather than individually or as a simple group, is to have people participate in continuous improvement, innovation and decision-making.
Team members have specific responsibilities at each stage in the team’s development. The leader also has certain responsibilities to make sure that the team can navigate through each of the stages. Many teams fail because this knowledge and support is not made available.
At this stage team members are dependent on their leader to make decisions and keep them informed. Their responsible to do their tasks in accordance with the role description and quality standards if they exist. The manager’s role is to make sure people are clear on what’s expected of them.
To move from being dependent on the leader to becoming organized as a team, they need orientation in the form of agreeing on ground rules, establishing goals and objectives and quality standards.
To facilitate transition to the next stage of team development the manager needs to shift his style in decision-making. This means presenting his decisions to the team for their input before making the final decision. This would apply to all decisions that affect the team such as standards and goals and objectives.
At this stage the group still has minimum power, but the platform is being set for them to move to the next stage which is becoming organized.
At each stage there is a relationship challenge and a task challenge. To move through each stage, the team members and the manager need to be aware of these challenges and how to navigate through them.
When involving team members in discussions conflicts can arise. Stage II of team development is called both organization and conflict. The task challenge or objective is to become organized as a team and the relationship challenge is dealing with the conflicts that are sure to arise. People must learn the skills associated with the task of organization and the relationship issue of conflict. It’s the managers responsibility to facilitate this or provide the proper resources.
When teams are being formed especially new teams, people may not know each other that well and trust tends to be low. Trust is a core foundation of teamwork and certain behaviors either generate trust or create distrust. In my next article and video, I’ll talk about the Trust Model.