Building trust in the Team – communication is the key

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We are inundated with team building requests at the moment and no surprise really. We are all so desperate to get back together with our teams and with so many people working remotely still or using a hybrid model of working, there is no escaping that team dynamics are suffering as a consequence because of COVID. The good news is, right now, doing this outdoors is perfect as the good weather sees us undertaking a range of activities to support this. And remember, it’s not just about having a fun day out (although of course we always make sure that’s the case 😊), it’s as much about ensuring that you achieve some great learning outcomes together. And that’s where we come in.

Communication sits at the heart of building trust and connection with teams and we see time and time again, the positive impact that focussed team building has on helping to create high performing teams.

We are a big lover of the Patrick Lencioni’s model on the Five Dysfunctions of a team and we find that spending time working through these layers, helps to build blocks to becoming a high performing team. And of course, looking at the model, the key foundation to these building blocks is TRUST. We all know how important it is to any great team and it links very heavily to the next building block which is the ability to have healthy conflict together. Now that is a whole other blog but we know that where teams have high levels of trust, they are much more able to have those honest and open conversations and debate and disagree without big fallouts in the team.

So, back to Trust then. What are we finding are the key communication elements that help a team to bond and build trust together? Here’s our top 5 with some prompts to get you thinking.

Make time – teams build trust when they spend time together

Ask yourself: Do you spend enough time with your team? Do you know your team well?

Listen – remember that age old saying “we have two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion”. Listening is a key communication skills which is hugely under-rated and underused.

Ask yourself: When was the last time you just sat and listened to someone, asked questions and was interested and then listened some more?

Always say thank you – again such an under-rated communication skill and yet so simple. We hear so many people saying “nobody even just says thank you here!”. And not just thank you, but really letting people know the difference they have made.

Ask yourself: Do I make time to say thank you to people for a job well done and let them know what they have done and the difference it has made?

Set and manage expectations – we should be communicating our expectations all the time. Yet so many people say they do not know what is expected of them. Whether it’s about someone’s tasks, project or career, it is so important to have clear expectations.

Ask yourself: Do I find that people don’t deliver what I want or need? Do I set clear expectations with the people I work with?

Invest in your team – we see so many great outcomes from our team building events and sessions. Whether it is a day out walking, a day building a raft or just working on your communication skills as a team and understanding your different styles, it all makes a huge difference to building trust.

Ask yourself: Do we need some time together to build connection, communication and trust?

You might be interested to know that if you are in the Leeds City Region, York, North Yorkshire or the East Riding, you could be eligible for 40% ESF funding towards the investment in any team building. If you are interested in finding our more, just get in touch.

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