Creating a Trust Environment
In a recent post titled Are you a Good Team Player, I shared that one of things that's essential as a team player and great leader is the creation of a trust environment. I want to expound more on the benefits of a trust environment and the steps to creating one.
A trust environment or culture is a relationship, team or organization where there is two way trust and where everyone is not afraid to be themselves. In a team or relationship where this exists, there is no limit to what such team can achieve. Problems are solved easily, innovation sky rockets, everyone is productive and that team or relationship is one where each member wants to show up at their best everyday. Wouldn't we all want that?
Now let's talk about some things we can begin to do to create such a culture or environment.
1. Respect what each person brings to the table and avoid shutting down others' ideas. Sometimes, our biases or history with certain individuals clouds our judgement and this could lead to making the unconscious decision to not listen to them or shut them down
2. Make concessions to meet all types of need of your team members. Consider gender, personalities, job ranking, distance from work, etc. For example, if you have an introverts on your team or meetings who don't normally speak up, create a system whereby they will have a chance to provide their own ideas or issues. If you have someone who can't make it to work by a certain time because they live far from work, schedule your meetings to accommodate them.
3. Openly praise individual and team accomplishments, and encourage others to do so.
4. Provide on time positive and constructive feedback as appropriate. Providing on time positive feedback encourages more positive behavior. Providing the constructive feedback on time also allows the team member to course correct. Of course this need to be done the right way.
5. Acknowledge and act upon ideas, complaints, feedback or requests. If as a leader you don't acknowledge or take any action, your team members will begin to become disengaged and will stop offering ideas. Remember that employee survey you sent out last year? Have you done anything about the responses?
6. As a leader, do what you say you will do, or at least if you aren't able to fulfill what you said, provide feedback and updates. When we don't do this, the level of trust in your team goes down. Trust is also eroded when individual team members don't do their part and neglect their responsibilities. Build a culture of performance, and hold everyone to high standards to increase trust among team members.
7. Do you give certain people on your team a pass? Are there procedures or rules that you don't address when violated by certain people on your team? This erodes trusts quickly among other team members. Treat everyone fairly and level the playing field for all.
8. Discourage and shut down back-biting and gossip as soon as they spring up. To take it further, enforce a gossip free culture.
9. Creating and maintaining a trust environment is everyone's responsibility. A lack of awareness around some of the issues that lead to a lack of trust will hinder the team's effort to achieve a trust environment. Therefore, invest in training, developing, and educating your team members in the area of leadership, communication, teamwork, civility, and unconscious bias, to name a few.
In conclusion, decisions are made more quickly, team members work better together, issues are brought up more quickly, there's better innovation, and problems are solved more effectively in trust environments.
To your success!
The Growth Studio
Simplifying Leadership, Maximizing Results
for Teams and Organizations