Blog post team building

Trusting your team leads to success

Igor Pureta Igor Pureta

Success is inevitable goal of manager and trusting your team is the easiest way to achieve it.

Trusting your team leads to success

Organizational climate is based on trust, confidence, and open communication. Everyone in organization should contribute to it because it is inevitable for its survival and success. Getting things done is already difficult task for itself but team leader can’t make it alone. His team is there to fulfill the assignment. The leader is there to plan, organize and supervise the teams’ work. Being leader sometimes seems as "mission impossible” if there is no trust between us as leaders and our team.

Trust is inevitable for team success because team has to have trust in leaders’ direction and decisions. Leader, on the other hand, has to have trust that each team member is committed to the task. He also knows its own role during the assignment. Only if mutual confidence exists there is a possibility to reach the goal. This is something that leaders feel and live with each task and each day.

We forget how important this is because we tend to make each task a routine, work without surprises. In such environment it is hard to put team members’ trust on probe. Everybody fulfills known tasks, nothing unusual happens and roles that have been learned before suit well. When we work with people we trust it is always going to be easy and comfortable. Trust will come in question in situations that are not so common. It pushes the team to explore new ways of reaching the goals. What happens with trust in such situations?

Absence of trust destroys success

Absence of trust could be mutual: leaders’ toward his team or vice versa. Trust is crucial component within team. Lack of it forces every team member to adjust behavior when cooperating with other members. In such situations team members usually feel the need to calm situation. They are searching for words and behavior that will positively, in emotional meaning of that word, influence the others. To achieve that positive influence people usually try to figure out how they have to behave to avoid disturbing anyone. They will try to find out how to discover what "others” want. Sometimes even the leader while in front of the team covers the emotions and language trying not to discomfort anyone. Doing so, simultaneously and unconsciously, we build strong walls around us to protect ourselves.

Protection is extremely often used strategy in situations that encourage our fears. In other words, in situations where people do not trust each other. Such situations should arise very often in working teams. So when the leader pushes his own borders he actually comes in discomfort zone. There his self-confidence naturally decreases because of facing with new situations. Capable leader knows well his strengths and weaknesses and therefore is easy for him to overcome such situations. The most capable leaders know the same for their teams. They are able to lead them through unknown waters with sufficient confidence. Pushing the team over the fence could be difficult if team members are customized not to share information.

Protecting others doesn’t serve the success

They believe this is in order to protect each other from awkward situations and fear. They are rather choosing to mislead themselves for the sake of safety than to feel the fear. Protecting ourselves and our people in advance may lead only to illusion of safety. We may even experience the satisfaction of winning every time our protective maneuvers pay off. On the other hand, such behavior can be deadly for leaders and their teams. They will never confront situations in which they have to stretch their capabilities and fight against the fear. Such approach leads to lower competitiveness since neither leaders nor teams improve themselves facing responsibly with difficult issues. Lower competitiveness leads to lower engagement and as final consequence team won’t be able to fulfill its goals. Such development is something that each and every team leader should tend to avoid.

Leaders have much better possibilities than they often believe! By increasing trust toward teammates they will have excellent starting point for improving overall trust level within the team. Through increased cooperation, as well as open and constructive problem solving, leader can improve organizational climate in his team. Consequently this will lead to trust as well. If team members recognize increased trust level from their leader they will be able to confront more fearless with problems than before. This will increase leader’s self-confidence r so he will be willing to step into more dangerous waters even more.

Leader challenges the status quo

This is important because if the leader strives to achieve challenging goals he has to challenge the status quo first. When we are surrounded by people we trust we actually start to believe that the future we want is possible. In that case our willingness to take a risk becomes more powerful than any fear in ourselves. When we choose to trust the people around us, we are willing to risk feeling uncomfortable for the sake of a higher purpose. Increased trust within team results with open discussions and finding of unconventional solutions for the problems. This usually encourages also other teams to start with such praxis which leads to progress of the whole company. Team members will influence the leader not only through their results but also with constructive discussions, advices and proposals. Leader will use this new climate to start and promote sustainable and systematic positive changes both within the team and within the organization.

Promoting trust and climate that support creative and proactive work with full engagement of all team members is important. It helps individuals, teams and organization to achieve their results with higher emotional involvement. It is situation in which we recognize that employees care about quality of their own and team achievements. Quality is crucial because it helps company to fulfill the promise to customers on the long term. Organizational climate based on trust, confidence, and open communication is something everyone in organization should contribute. It is inevitable for its survival and success.

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