Do You Trust Your Team?
There is nothing more important to a relationship than trust. Without trust, the bonds between individuals or among groups lack the strength that comes from knowing someone has your back no matter what happens. This is hard enough to do on a personal level, where we can actually choose the people we allow into our lives. At work, building trust is even more difficult, but is a crucial component to success nonetheless.
In a recent interview, Peter Löscher, president and C.E.O. of Siemens A.G., explained the importance of trust. “When you’re in business, I think the underlying principle is trust. How do you establish within a team a blind trust so that each person plays for the other? Business is about lining up a leadership team or a group of people and you rally them behind a cause or a certain direction. But the underlying strength is the trust within the team—so that you actually are no longer just playing individually at your best, but you’re also trying to understand what you can do to make the team better.”
The thing about trust is that it must be genuine. You can fake liking your coworkers by laughing at their jokes, having lunches together or high-fiving them whenever they say boo-yah. But trust can’t be faked. This is why your coworkers say things like “No thanks, Ryan. I know you’re passing by the FedEx drop-off. But I’m going to take care of this myself,” or “I hide my salad dressing in the crisper under the rotting lettuce.” Real trust isn’t built on gestures, but actions.
The next time you’re in a team meeting, take a hard look around the room. Is the team functioning together? If not, you may want to check on your salad dressing.
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