When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb.” Patanjali
One of the most telling predictors of a team’s success is the extent to which it builds trust among team members. Whether teams are large or small, virtual or under the same roof, trusting teams have inherent advantages not found in teams with a low level of trust.
What makes a trusting team? Following are 8 essential elements that set apart teams that possess a strong trust factor.
Social exchanges are critical in the early stages of team building, and continue to be important throughout the team’s existence. Discussions of family, weekend activities, and personal interests help team members understand the values and priorities of one another and build strong personal bonds. Team members who have worked together before make a point to included newer team mates in social exchanges to avoid the chance of creating cliques of socially-familiar members within the team. While bonding socially, trusting teams are careful to not allow social cohesion to be a substitute for progress on the team’s objectives.
Trusting teams demonstrate enthusiasm about their projects and members make a point to overtly encourage team mates. Teams may refer to themselves as “family,” “posse,” or other nicknames used to signify the uniqueness and unity of the group. Language of enthusiasm might include phrases such as, “this is getting exciting!” or “I’m really pumped about our progress.” A favorite phrased I hear team members use is, “You rock!” By using somewhat informal vocabulary, team members reinforce that their enthusiasm for team mates includes a personal aspect as well as professions. Trusting teams “keep it real.” At the same time, trusting teams are keen to channel their enthusiasm toward accomplishing the team’s tasks.
Trusting teams use technology to enhance communication and solve problems, and do not allow technology to become an impediment to teamwork. Technology is a huge topic, so let’s touch on three of the more important aspects of using technology for teamwork: e-mail communication; scheduling; and file management. Read the rest of this entry »