Trust has a bottom-line benefit because
1. Trust turns groups into teams and
2. Trust shortens the time it takes to get things done.
We are simply faster and more efficient when we trust people. (Stephen M.R. Covey makes a beautiful case for building trust in his book, The Speed of Trust: the One Thing that Changes Everything.)
Let me describe two work environments. You choose the one you would rather work in:
In this workplace, fear rules. There is an absence of laughter, and stiffness in the way people move and speak. Great care is taken before someone utters a word in a meeting. You can almost see how tightly wound people are. They are tethered to the demands and expectations of their job. Duty and obligation define the day.
In this workplace, there is both swift movement and laughter. People speak and move easily around one another. Many ideas are put forward in meetings, and those ideas are challenged and refined by others present. There is focus and engagement. People are committed to a common cause, not in love with their own ideas. A shared sense of purpose creates momentum in the organization.
The rest of this article will not help you if you would prefer Workplace A.
But if Workplace B appeals to you, here are 5 Tips to Cultivate Trust on Your Team.
1. Ask questions for which you do not have an answer.
These kinds of questions show real curiosity and allow for creativity and collaboration.
2. Share your desired outcome openly at the outset of the meeting or conversation.
This allows people to relax because they know what your expectations are from the beginning.
3. Honestly share and discuss the threats and obstacles that are present.
Open discussion shrinks our fear, making the real challenges easier to overcome.
4. Listen. Actively.
Your act of listening calms everyone in the room, you included. Listen to learn and understand.
5. Celebrate success.
Notice and celebrate the successes on your team as shared successes of the team. This simple pivot ties individual achievements to the entire group, and allows people to enjoy the successes of others more deeply. It is easier to build team spirit when we share the wins!
When trust begins to emerge in a workplace, the pace of that workplace increases for one simple reason: distrust takes time. Do you want your people spending their time thinking of ways to protect themselves from colleagues and criticism or would you rather have your people spend that time and energy working on your business? Building trust has a bottom line: trust increases the pace by decreasing the friction between people and teams. The dividends of trust are both speed and creativity. It pays to cultivate trust on your team.