Experts agree, trust is a necessity if you want a high performing and cohesive team (I decided against listing dozens of citations to support that. You’ve probably seen many of them already; they’re everywhere). When you think about what’s needed to build a solid foundation of trust, you may think of ideas such as:
- being honest with one another (admitting mistakes, asking for help when needed),
- authenticity (say what you mean and mean what you say)
- integrity (walk your talk)
- reliability (do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re doing to do it)
- accountability (calling one another one behaviors that hurt the team; addressing poor performance)
I would agree; and certainly not an all-inclusive list. One key element in building trust, is actually a prerequisite to all those listed above: COURAGE. It’s a courageous person who can readily admit his/her mistakes to teammates, or who can open up the dialogue around the controversial issue that has become the “elephant in the room.” And I have never, not once, witnessed a team member [respectfully] calling another on an unproductive behavior without a second or two of nearly tangible courage-mustering.
In what workplace situations do we find it easy (or difficult) to behave courageously? How can we intentionally build our “courage” muscles, developing a stronger collective backbone for our team, our organization, our world?
Patrick Lencioni, author of Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Death by Meeting, and many other leadership texts, recently wrote about heroism (a result of acting courageously) in today’s society, communities, and workplaces. Here is a thought from Lencioni to leave you with: “The next time we witness someone taking a difficult stand for what is right, whether it is in the workplace, at school, in your church or little league, let’s take the time to tell them that we admire them for what they did. And better yet, let’s tell them that we wish we could be more like them, and that they’ve inspired us to try. Not only will that reinforce their heroic behavior, it will also increase the likelihood that the next time we are faced with a moment of truth, no matter how small it may seem, we choose to be a hero, too.”
All good wishes,
De Yarrison, CPCC