3 Steps to Build a Culture of Trust with Your Team

07/18/2014 | Roger and Susie Engelau

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Do your employees seem disinterested in their jobs? Do they hang around in cliques or seem to resent others in the organization? Are errors occurring at the handoffs between departments? Maybe it’s because they haven’t learned to trust one another. I’ve come to believe that lack of trust in an organization, the first of Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, hurts your business significantly.

I see this frequently. Trust is the #1 ingredient of a team that works well together and often the main missing ingredient in businesses that fail.

Without trust, team members act more like individuals who happen to work at the same company. Distrusting employees hesitate to ask for help, are quick to judge and blame others, hold grudges, and don’t enjoy each other’s company. 

Members of high-performing teams, on the other hand, rely on others’ strengths and don’t hesitate to ask for help. They’re slow to judge or to reach a negative conclusion. They offer and accept apologies, forgive one another and support one another. They focus on common goals and look forward to meetings as a place to share and solve problems.

Establishing trust in your organization can be accomplished quickly and easily. We’ve had great success in dozens of companies using these few steps to build a culture of trust.

  1. Administer a behavior profiling instrument. We like the Myers-Briggs assessment.  In just 3 – 4 hours your staff will understand, appreciate, and respect the differences in their individual personalities, preferences, values and perceptions. Click here to take the Myers-Briggs. It’ll take you about 30 minutes. I’ll pay for it. Under Myers-Briggs license agreements, you must schedule a feedback session with me over the phone.The Myers-Briggs provides a language with which team members can openly discuss their differences. It encourages empathy and cooperation. If you do the Myers-Briggs with your team and nothing else, you’re at 3rd base and it only took you 3 – 4 hours.
  2. To deepen and solidify trust even more, take another 1 – 2 hours and conduct the Personal Histories exercise with the team. Now you’ve got Dysfunction #1, Lack of Trust, licked.
  3. To maintain trust, “recreate” together. A simple pizza party at lunch or beers after work once a month will do it.

You’ll start to see a greater spirit of cooperation immediately. You’ll see better performance and employees who are having more fun when you take deliberate steps to build team trust.