Trust is essential to exceptional team performance. It’s pretty hard to maintain a forward focus with teammates watching their backs and covering their tails.
There are a number of things we can do to foster openness and build trust among coworkers. But when the dust settles, two things are essential:
- Each person on our team must work and make all decisions for the greater good – for the benefit and advancement of the whole team. We can’t trust a self-focused individual to make decisions that will advance the vision of the team. With a self-promoter in the ranks, everyone becomes more guarded and careful. In contrast, when we’re all striving to achieve a common purpose, we can let go, be real, open up and get passionate, knowing we are all just trying to get to our destination faster. Working for the greater good is a decision we make every moment we’re engaged with our team, and that produces trust. What do we do with the self-promoters? We remove them quickly, if we want a healthy team.
- Each person on our team must do what he or she has committed to do. Teammates who don’t follow through on their commitments can’t be trusted. It doesn’t matter how nice, friendly and fun they are to have around. The bottom line is that we can’t count on them to get their part done, so they also have to go if we want a healthy team.
Focus on these two things and you’ll build a trusting team with exceptional performance.