Consultant, Patrick Lencioni, says the absence of trust is the number one dysfunction of a team in his book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.
Trust is a tricky thing for a team. It takes years to establish and yet can disappear in the blink of an eye.
The key to becoming a great team is establishing a culture where trust can grow.
Such a culture will thrive if a 3 things are present.
1 – A Secure Leader. Great leaders welcome feedback, mine for conflict, and encourage healthy debate. Insecure leaders do not. They squelch the opinion of others and tend to be heavy handed.
2 – Loyal Followers. Being the leader is not easy. Especially if your followers are not trustworthy. As a leader it is your job to hold the team accountable for standards of excellence. It seems counter intuitive to encourage the team to challenge the process while at the same time holding them accountable to maintaining the standards. But it can be done. There is an old saying, “People don’t want to have their way, they just want to have their way considered.” While true, loyal followers also want to know there is “a way.” An expectation. Trust grows the more standards are clear and loyalty is demonstrated.
3 – Time. There are no shortcuts to trust. It just takes time. Doing the right thing day after day, taking responsibility when you mess up, and treating others the way you want to be treated will speed things up, but trust still cannot be rushed.
Couple a confident leader with faithful followers, give them time, and watch what happens. It is called Trust.
Without it, you will never be anything more than a dysfunctional organization. But with it, you can thrive.
What other things would you add to the list of things needed to build trust?