People often ask me how to increase the trust in the team. And most of the time I give them the following simple recipe of 5 simple actions you can do every day to increase trust. And I’ve seen teams change because of it.
1) Ask others for help
Make sure to ask your team members to help you with their strengths and expertise to complete an important task or to compensate for your weakness in the process. People love to help, especially if it’s their strength you need. It will increase the complementarity of the team, increase performance and tackle the loss of energy in the team. Asking for help is a vulnerable act, making you dependent on others and therefore enhancing trust.
2) Ask for specific feedback
Give others the opportunity to help you grow by asking them specific feedback. Most feedback given in a team is more a projection game of the one giving it or a manipulation tool to comply too a certain way of working. Proactively sharing your personal learning journey and inviting others to be part of this journey creates togetherness and a contagious learning culture. Being specific is the hardest part because it requires you to be honest to yourself and your teammates, immediately increasing trust while doing it.
3) Speak positively about a team member with somebody else
Create a positive atmosphere when talking about each other. Talking positive about others helps the team to look for the positive in others, increasing the spirit in the team immediately. It also builds trust because it’s profoundly nice to work in an environment were you know people are looking for the positive in others. It casts out fear and stress and therefor increases productivity. It also creates a foundation to address things that are not going the way they should go.
4) Apologise personally if you’ve wronged someone
We all make mistakes that might affect or even hurt a fellow team member. It’s how we deal with them that make a difference! Saying you’re sorry is a powerful way of reconnecting and trust building. You need to overcome your pride and may be also your strong conviction that you did nothing wrong. When it comes to trust it’s not about being wright of wrong it’s about how you discover the truth together. That is if you want it to be sustainable.
5) Give each other hugs
I always say this with a smile and the fun thing is that when I’m working with a team, this already happens quite a lot during step 1 to 4. It’s a natural physical reaction when people reconnect on a deeper level. Research shows that when we hug the body releases oxytocin, the hormone that is responsible for our feeling of trust and intimacy. So there’s also a biological reason to do this, the biology of trust.