“I Don’t Trust You”

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The phrase “I don’t trust you” creates all kind of problems for couples, organizations, teams and athletes.  You have to know that the person standing in front of you is leading you in the right direction.  Equally as important you have to know that the members on your team care deeply about you and want your best.  Trust is about faith.  The opposite of trust according to Patrick Lencioni is invulnerability or the inability to admit mistakes and weaknesses.

Last week, I heard the phrase “I don’t trust…” so many times as it pertains to leadership, teams and peers.  It is a common problem.  Trust starts with a relationship with another person.  Trust is strengthened through strong conversations.  Trust is built by being transparent about your struggles and your strengths.  Trust can be as simple as doing what you say you will do.

The opposite of trust is infidelity, distrust and lack of confidence in.  Distrust is built through gossip, not doing what you promise, not following agreed upon team norms and purposes.  Distrust on teams is using another person’s weakness to help advance your career.

As a leader, it is your job to build the trust on your team and hold the team to the promise of trust.  Lead by bringing your team together around a shared purpose.

Characteristics of Teams of Trust by Patrick Lencioni (5 Dysfunctions) 

1. Admit Weaknesses And Mistakes

2. Ask for Help

3. Appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experiences

My suggestions for building a team of trust:

1. Team members need to know each other’s story otherwise they may feel that they are mere cogs in a process.  This does not have to be gushy, just connect the story to why the person shows up every day.  Most of our stories inform how we engage at work and why we work.

2. Team members need to without question make it a priority to follow through on what they say with no excuses.  Excuses can impair effectiveness.

3. The more experienced people on the team need to show the new folks the way of great trust.  This lays the groundwork for the new members.

What have you done to build trust with your team?