Is TRUST a Determinant of Team Success?

It’s not uncommon to come across team leaders, managers or business owners concerned about disharmony at the workplace. More often than not, they speak about how manging the team would have been easier if only they could get them to trust each other. But what exactly is Trust and why is it so important to an organisation? how is it that trust is a determinant of team success? lets find out.

Judging by its literal definition, trust is a firm belief in the reliability of something. It could also be the ability to have faith in the fact that your views and opinions will be mirrored. But how does Trust or the lack of it impact an organisation? in organisations, if finishing tasks is the primary aim, then where does trust feature?

The answer to these questions lies in the basic definition of an organisation. It suggests that an organisation is a collective force working towards a common goal. This implies that in order to attain results it is important to work together.

In organisations where teammates do not believe in each other, we see dysfunctional teams. This means that constantly arguing co-workers, disagreements or information withholding either intentionally or intentionally is a common sight. Leading to an environment of bitterness and non-co-operation. Hence as leaders, it is important to create an environment where people can not only work to their optimal potential but also work as a team to achieve collective success.

How do you as a leader bring about this change?

Communication is key to building trust in any relationship 

In order to bring about change, its purpose needs to be articulated. Therefore, the first step to getting things done is by helping the team understand their role in the organisation. It is also helping them understand how each member can contribute to getting tasks done efficiently.

This can be done by encouraging your team to ask questions and have healthy discussions. As a leader, it is utmost important, to be honest with your team.

Remember: It’s ok not to know the answers to everything, you can always get back to them with satisfactory answers.

Once you create a safe space for people to share their views, they will trust you as a leader and this will ripple through the team and organisation as a whole.

Building trust by leading by example 

If your goal as a leader is to increase trust, you need to lead by example by trusting them. Find ways to appreciate and show them that you believe in them. Most often, the way people behave is attributable to the fear of being judged. But if you as a leader are non-judgmental your team will be able to not only work better but also communicate better.

So, in the words of Ernest Hemingway, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Building trust by getting to know your team

Every individual has his/her own story to tell. So, the last step to foster an environment of trust is to as a leader to understand your teammates personally. This will provide a framework for strategies on how you can motivate them individually. You could have activities within the team to encourage them to get to know each other better. Once your team is familiar with the broader canvas of each other’s lives, it’s easier to understand temperaments and in-turn function better as a unit.

In conclusion, it can be said that building trust is an ongoing process that requires perseverance. Along with this it most importantly requires a willingness to embrace change. Change might be difficult to achieve in a short period of time, this being said it is not an impossible task.

Once teammates trust each other, they will enjoy working together. Once that is achieved it will consecutively increasing productivity and culminating in the overall development of the organisation. So in this way we can say that trust definitely and surely is a determinant of team success. 

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