Open, frank and transparent communication makes a significant difference to the effectiveness and performance of a team; concerns and issues are out in the open, shared and being addressed.
By aligning behaviour with agreed values (rather than hoping it ‘just happens’), team members are more likely to be happy and that smile is more likely to be warm and authentic.
In cases where teams are not performing at their optimum, somewhere along the line one or more key relationships have broken down. This communication collapse generally leads to an environment where teams avoid genuine conversations or instead engage in conversations that are not productive.
So, what can teams focus on to help rebuild these relationships? The answer lies in trust.
Leading Teams has a simple model for helping to build trust within teams, which focuses on both the competence and character of team members.
Firstly, team members must consider whether their colleagues are competent in terms of having both the necessary skills to execute their designated role, and the ability to execute these skills under pressure.
The second element of Leading Teams’ trust model focuses on a team members’ character. Do we trust that they will be good for their word, and will they put the team’s interests before their individual needs when required?
Trust will always be hard to establish and maintain if a team member believes someone’s words are hollow or empty. Additionally, people must also be reassured that everyone will put the group’s interest before their own. Once a pattern of self-interest emerges, this behaviour will spread rapidly throughout the team and is often difficult to reverse.
Organisations often focus on the mechanics of their business, rather than investing in relationships. The C-suite will see positive changes in productivity and communication once they encourage employees to take the time to invest in strong professional relationships, where trust is the cornerstone. This is where the relationship plays a crucial role. If you don’t trust a fellow team member, is it because they are untrustworthy, or is it just a reflection of the relationship you have with them?