Teamwork sounds like a simple task, but it is much easier said than done. One of the most important elements playing into teamwork is trust. For a team to be truly effective, there must be trust throughout the entire team. All team members must be prepared to agree and disagree on things. They also must be willing and able to work individually and as a team to push through any of these disagreements that may be debilitating for the team as a whole. Ever wonder how some teams seem to do so well when working together, and other teams not so much? It really all comes down to building trust among team members.
Here are 6 tips to help you and your team build trust and work together better than ever:
1. Be a leader.
Be the person on your team that gets things done! Regardless of your role on a team, you can always be a leader. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude or bossy by any means. A strong team member and strong leader can always guide his or her team to victory by showing them the way. If your team knows that they can rely on you to guide them in the right direction, they will also learn that they can trust you to do what’s best for the team. For more on effective leadership, read our previous blog post, “10 Ways to Be a Highly Effective Leader.”
2. Communicate openly.
Communication is key to building trust among a team. Communication is very important because it helps to make everybody aware of your mission and purpose, and gets everybody on the same page. Always be sure to express your thoughts, opinions, and potential solutions to problems. Being open and honest is one of the best ways to build trust in any relationship. Learn more about effective communication by reading, “5 Ways to Be an Effective Communicator.”
3. Be a good listener.
As mentioned, communication is a key factor in building trust among team members, and since half of communication is listening, that makes listening another huge factor in building team trust. Always listen to one another. Everyone has different perspectives on things, so listening to each other’s ideas can help your team to develop new ideas, solve problems, work faster, and the like. . For more on effective listening, check out, “5 Ways to Be an Effective Listener.”
4. Be positive and give praise.
Keeping a positive attitude will help your team keep calm and continue to work as quickly and efficiently as possible. Be the member that sees the wins and progress along the way. In addition, be sure to give praise wherever it is needed. Everyone wants to feel like they are contributing to the team. By giving praise you can keep your team members motivated and can even encourage them to work a little harder or faster.
5. Be respectful and unbiased.
Being open to everybody’s ideas is another great way to build trust among team members. Even if you don’t like an idea that somebody suggests, try not to be rude. Hear them out and at least show them courtesy and respect, as a negative reaction will only keep them from making future suggestions and will send a signal to everybody else that their ideas may not be valued either.
6. Provide helpful feedback.
Everybody wants and needs feedback. Lack of feedback leads people to feel undervalued and even unnoticed. Regular, consistent feedback allows you to clear the air, bring up issues or concerns, and motivate and encourage team members. All of this is a great way to increase trust among team members.
It is important to remember that every interaction and every situation is an opportunity to increase or decrease trust among team members. So if you feel like your team may be lacking trust, and therefore lacking effectiveness and efficiency, consider these six tips in order to solve the problem.