Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.–Stephen Covey

Do you agree that trust is the foundation for any team’s success? That team members must be candid and vulnerable with one another? That trust impacts results, unity, stress, and satisfaction levels?

When trust is minimal (or absent), teams are simply not teams, but rather a group of individual performers. And, when trust does not exist between colleagues, direct reports, and business partners, the desire to “strive for more” is lacking.

Building trust begins with awareness. We all have our own set of strengths and growth opportunities as well as behaviors and skill-sets. Have we validated what they are, and do we know how to leverage them to be most effective? What about knowing how we can add the most value to our team? Are we willing to be vulnerable and admit when our knowledge may be weak or when we’ve made a mistake? These are the keys to trust.

Next is increasing our awareness of colleagues (and bosses too). Do you understand their styles and preferences? Thought processes? Intent? How they wish to be communicated with? Do you feel connected with them? These are additional keys for trust.

Other common team problems that are likely impacted by trust are:

Managing and addressing differences

The willingness to share knowledge, information, and work together

Engagement levels and the desire to jointly achieve goals

Being too tactical; always in the “now” mode and not considering the future

Inability to accept and embrace change

Clarity around individual and team roles for goal attainment

We’ve shared it before, but it’s worth sharing again The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team as defined by Patrick Lencioni:

1.    Absence of TRUST

2.    Fear of CONFLICT

3.    Lack of COMMITMENT

4.    Avoidance of ACCOUNTABILITY

5.    Inattention to RESULTS

Team trust is a must. Is trust an issue within your team? If no, can you share what you’ve done to cross this hurdle? We’d love to hear from you!

Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal.—Patrick Lencioni