We have all been a part of an organization whose culture is going south. Undermining behavior, manipulation, lack of commitment, high turnover, and burnout are just a few of the problems that stem from a team of people that cannot trust one another. Trust has been proven, time and again, to enhance both teamwork and collaboration. The importance of building a team you can trust cannot be overstated. Groups that feel supported by trust will thrive and those that don’t will tear each other apart.
Think of it like any other relationship you have in your life. When you have that person or group of people that you can come to candidly and bounce ideas and thoughts off of while they give you honest positive feedback and support, your confidence soars. The feeling is mutual too, as the people who you use as a sounding board get a boost in confidence knowing that you trust their opinion enough to come to them with what’s important. This translates into the workplace in the same way. When you have a team that is rooting for you to succeed and working to help your ideas thrive, you feel unstoppable. On the other side of that coin, if you have a group of people around you waiting for you to trip and fail, you’re left constantly looking over your shoulder and second guessing the moves that you make.
Negativity in the workplace creates a highly stressful and undesirable environment. Within such organizations, employees withhold their talents, creativity, energy, and passion. As a result, they lose productivity, their innovation capabilities, their competitive edge, and more.
It’s simple. People want to feel appreciated. They want to feel valued. When you’re leading a team, you need to build one that includes more than just people who can work together. You need people on your team who can be honest with you, not to tear anyone down a peg, but to give direct honest feedback in a way that helps the team to improve.
How does that honesty happen? Transparency. You have to expose yourself and your own vulnerabilities if you want people to bring down their walls and do the same. If you are living in a guarded culture where no one reveals when they’re struggling or need help, then you’re all going to fail. If you have the confidence to admit your shortcomings when they happen, you’re giving your team an opportunity to do the same.
Remember that, when people feel free to communicate, express their ideas, and trust their employers and superiors, they are more prompted to innovate and come up with new solutions.
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