In Patrick Lencioni’s groundbreaking work, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, his core, foundational, belief is that great teams trust one another. There is a lot of talk in teams about what lack of trust looks like.
If you are in a team meeting and people are fearful to say things like “My plate is full,” “I made a mistake,” “I don’t know the answer,” “I can’t hit that deadline,” “I need some help/support,” then they aren’t able to be vulnerable and say the kind of things that are really going through their mind. This is because there is a lack of trust. That may mean that they don’t trust that you think that they are competent or that you realize they are working as hard as they can. This does not enable them to be completely vulnerable with you and the team, thus none of the other behaviors of a cohesive team can happen.
If you want to establish trust in your organization, ask your people to be vulnerable and really express their true feelings. Hopefully the team does not chastise them for it. You can build from that the other behaviors that make a great team.
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