We all want to be on a team where people trust one another. The environment is friendly, cooperative and often innovative. There is a positive pulse that is almost palpable. We look forward to being with the people at work. Regrettably, untrusting teams seem to be more the norm.
Why? As usual, sports teams offer some plausible examples. Lets say you were a new baseball player looking for your first team. Where would you want to go? Or let's say you were a basketball player, where then? I would propose the answer might be right here in the Bay Area... the Golden State Warriors or the San Francisco Giants. Both teams have managers who share several things in common:
- Praise their team, in print and in person.
- Possess humility about their own accomplishments, transferring recognition back to their team.
- Are mature and composed about losses, admitting mistakes and seeing the long game.
- Understand the unique strengths and challenges of their team members and allow opportunities for both to develop.
Effective managers model what they want to see among their team. The team in turn works collaboratively instead of competitively. Rarely have I witnessed a trusting team that didn't have a strong leader who demonstrates most or all of these qualities. Patrick Lencioni, best-selling author of 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, places Trust as the foundation for a cohesive team. He goes on to explain that trust is expressed on a team by the ability of team members to admit mistakes and ask for help, among other behaviors. When the manager of a team demonstrates and expects this type of behavior, trust grows.
So if you are in a management role bemoaning that trust does not exist on your team, think about this: What can you do to help it along - "Let it begin with me."