How to build trust with your team – the ultimate x-factor to success.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of the trust fall. The exercise made famous in the movies as the ultimate team building exercise involves someone falling backward off of some height and trusting a group of people positioned behind them to catch them, preventing what would likely be quite the painful experience.
But the end result is almost always the same – the person gets caught and the next person goes until everyone has taken a turn falling backward into the arms of their friends or colleagues.
This is why this exercise is actually a very good metaphor for the workplace and how you can build trust with your team every single day.
Here is how to build trust with your team
1) It is not enough to just say it
“Just trust me.” It’s something that is said every single day among colleagues, bosses and those that report to them. This phrase is almost always utter under the context of an idea or plan that everyone is not completely sold on. However, contrary to what I see every day, that saying, or any other similar one, should not be assumed as an automatic card to be given trust. Often on the other side of that exchange is a person who is thinking in their head “Why should I?” Which leads me to point #2
2) Always catch them… and I mean always
Think about the trust fall exercise. Let’s say the first person in line gets up on a ledge, takes a nice deep breathe and falls straight backward expecting the feeling of linked arms to break their fall. But it never happens. SMACK to the floor they go. Do you think the next person in line is going to want to jump? HECK NO! The trust hasn’t been lost with just that one person, but the whole group that was there watching. This perfectly explains how to both gain trust and lose it at the same time. If your team takes a risk or does something different then the norm and it fails you have to be there to support them and catch them if they fall. Not only does this build trust with that person, but the rest of your team as well. It gives them the confidence to take risks and innovate without ever having the fear of hitting the ground – which in turn builds a strong culture that is always evolving and trying new things.
3) Remember, at some point, it is going to be your time to jump
Do you think that your team would be there to catch you when you take the leap? Building trust with your team is not a one-way street. If you show your team and organization that you will be there to catch them, they will do it for you as well. This builds a full trust loop where everyone is there to support one another in any situation, and that is what the best cultures in the world are made of, a group of people that are ready to catch one another at any moment.
Trust is the real x-factor for any successful organization. When there is a true feeling of trust, all the walls and fear of failure is completely removed and replaced with a mindset of innovation. When a company is innovating, they are getting better, more efficient, and growing – which is what everyone wants!