Lots that is wrong in today’s business environment comes from a lack of trust. Be honest with yourself. With stories coming out almost daily like the Stanford Financial story on Tuesday, it’s hard to have faith in a lot of things. Government, Suppliers, Customers, Products, Etc. When that lack of faith or trust starts to creep into your team at work, you’re really in trouble. Everything becomes more difficult.
I’ve been watching and reading some material from Pat Lencioni lately. Most of it, from his book, The Five Dysfunctions of of Team. It really addresses how to keep your team healthy and working well together, something we all need right now. And it all boils down to trust. Without it, you can’t have a healthy productive team.
When teammates truly trust each other, they can engage in meaningful conflict and dialogue about problems and strategy and tactics. When the this occurs, the team can “buy into” or commit to solutions, even if it isn’t they aren’t the ones they wanted, because they have “weighed in” on the discussion. Accountablity and results naturally follow.
Without trust, the dialogue doesn’t happen, people commit half heartedly and the execution of your plan slows to a crawl.
How then do your engender trust, especially as the leader of your team?
Lencioni says, and I agree, by being vulnerable. Not by being the guy/gal who knows it all. But by regularly admitting that others might know more about the problem or solution or opportunity than you do. When you set the stage by being vulnerable this way, the rest feel free to do so as well and the dialogue becomes a search for truth instead of an argument to win or lose.
It’s a big part of why Inner Circles and the best peer groups work, the business owners and CEO who are members have safe place to admitt that they might not know what to do. The advice from their peers becomes very meaningful and productive.
Can you take the risk of not being vulnerable with your team in these turbulent trying times. I think not. Not if you want your team to succeed.