15 Ways to Build Team Trust

Communication builds trust and trust builds a team.

team buildingThe smallest acts of intentional communication can have the biggest impact on teams. In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni outlines how building trust is the foundation for strong, successful teams.

How do you help your team build trust? Through communication and connection.

One of my favorite ways to connect leaders and teams is through powerful questions.

Here are 5 Questions to Ask Your Team Today:

  1. What are you hearing from our customers/patients/congregants/members/clients?
  2. Who on our team did you catch doing something great today? (Who would you love to brag about?)
  3. What’s getting in the way of our own success? (What obstacles do we need to move?)
  4. If you were me, what would you do differently?
  5. How can I help?

But it’s not enough to just ask the question; you have to listen to their answer, as well.

Here are 5 Ways to Show You’re Listening:

  1. Focus on them. Get rid of distractions and treat them like they are the most important person in the world so you can really hear what they have to say.
  2. Keep listening even if you don’t like their answer.
  3. Respond genuinely.
  4. Follow-up and follow-through.
  5. Thank them for taking the time to share with you.

And after you listen, you need to respond.

Here are 5 Responses to Avoid: 

  1. Allowing interruptions. When you let someone stop by with a “quick question”, you’re saying they are more important. (Same thing is true of answering calls or texts.)
  2. Bursting into tears. Or fits of rage. Basically, any severe emotional reaction will only make your team realize they should never honestly answer your questions again. Ever.
  3. Dismissing their problem or concern. You do this by saying something like, “That won’t be a problem.” or “There’s no reason to be worried about that.” or “It’s stupid/silly/ridiculous to feel that way.” If you can’t relate to their concern, ask them to tell you more about where the concern is coming from. Ask for them to share the solutions they would recommend.
  4. Cutting them off. Realizing you are late for a meeting right in the middle of their response only communicates that you didn’t really want to hear their answers to begin with.
  5. Making promises or offers you have no intention of fulfilling.

What about you and your team? What questions would you add to this list?

Julie Pierce is passionate about two things: empowering leaders to change the world and pursuing pie perfection.
Julie is a leadership coachconsultant and communicator
You can follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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