When working in teams, is trust assumed or do team members have to earn trust?
When working in teams I believe there is a certain amount of trust that is present initially. Primarily because when working in a team setting individuals are working toward the same goal. It may be assumed that each individual team members will do his or her part and exchange in a way to best suit the team. In the beginning of a team project trust may be a little shaky, and could improve as communication becomes more open and relations start to develop. I believe that trust can be both assumed and earned during the course of a team project.
Consider how trust is lost when working in teams and how to keep trust among team members.
Trust can be lost when working in teams because of individual team members who do not fulfill promises or commitments to complete a part in a project, or holds back information that may be critical in ...view middle of the document...
By taking risks, we move to a deeper level of trust” (McKenna, Maister 2002, p. 14).
Another way to develop trust is with follow through. Team members should structure timeframes and other processes to ensure members follow through. McKenna suggests, “To prevent the commitment from becoming an inconvenience, set a guideline for a modest investment of time that will be devoted to any project” (McKenna, Maister 2002, p. 14). Another way to foster trust is by being honest with yourself and other team members. McKenna writes, “You can actively engender trust, but to do it, you have got to be open with people. They have to know that you always keep your word” (McKenna, Maister 2002, p. 14). Making a commitment to other team members and falling short can lead to mistrust, setting up time frames and being in close contact can be an effective tool for adequate follow though.
Keeping people informed after asking for advice, or in other words letting them know what your intentions are with the advice is good practice for keeping trust in a team. If your expectation is that the team member will use the advise but does not, it could lead to mistrust. “It is virtually impossible to build trust if people lack integrity in their behavior, if they favor one person over others, or if they lack fairness in their handling of situations” (McKenna, Maister 2002, p. 14).
In a group or team setting, you can anticipate there may be some disagreements or conflict and thus there is a need for “constructive disagreement.” Mutual trust starts with open communication, it is important that team members can openly disagree with one another. By learning to identify problems and discuss them openly and without fear of being disrespected, you can foster trust and solve problems more efficiently. All team members should trust that even with a disagreement or difference of opinion, the team will be fair with the resolution so that they can accomplish what they set out to accomplish.
McKenna, Patrick J.; Maister, David H.. Executive Excellence, May2002, Vol. 19 Issue 5, p13-14