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There are often times when we are required to work as part of a team. Let's look at areas that require trust in order to establish a positive environment.
Trust Is an Important Part of Teamwork
There are often times when we are required to work together as part of a team. It may be to arrange an informal event, like a social or a party. Work environments often necessitate a more formal commitment to co-operate with each other, linking individuals with complementary abilities or putting together teams of similar skills in order to reach a common goal.
Trust is an important part of teamwork. People have to feel that they can rely on the other members of their team for specific things or else the situation becomes unworkable. If team members begin to suspect that they are being disrespected, used or unappreciated they rapidly lose the ability to trust their co-workers. A hostile, tense atmosphere is likely to then occur.
Let’s look at the reasons why trust is an important part of teamwork;
- A team works best when it is open and accountable. It helps when everyone understands the big picture, the ultimate goal as well as the strategy and master plan to achieve those aims. Outlining the brief at the outset is important so that everyone understands and feels included from day one.
- Each person’s role needs to be clarified or else suspicion and undercurrents can occur. It may seem at times that some people are making all the effort, contributing more than their fair share whilst others appear to be doing very little. Understanding each others’ roles supports a more trusting environment and can minimise resentments from occurring.
- Respect has to be maintained in any team. Trust is an important part of teamwork and for that to develop everyone has to feel confident that each person is pulling their weight. Suspicion that a member of the team is shirking their responsibility or behaving inappropriately has to be seen to be dealt with speedily and effectively or it can de-motivate the entire team.
- Remuneration is important and perceived inequalities can cause trust to be damaged amongst team members. Everyone is aware of what they contribute in terms of skill, experience, effort. If they feel that others are not equally committed the financial aspects can become especially relevant. If large bonuses are due to be paid on completion people can feel resentful if they believe that they are undeservedly missing out.
- Regular meetings, updates, open question and answer sessions provide an opportunity to air any grievances or misunderstandings. There needs to be an open door policy at these times so that people can feel safe, that they will not be penalised for raising concerns or asking questions and that their issues will be dealt with promptly and honestly.
- Appropriate responsibility is important. Taking the blame, shouldering the responsibility when things go wrong or mistakes are made allows team members to trust each others’ integrity. Many people appreciate someone admitting straight away that they have made a mistake. Lies and dishonesty damage trust.
- Trusting that everyone is working together, helping each other and sharing the workload can be a valuable way of pooling resources and achieving important goals. Helping each other to excel and achieve good results often means that new skills are learnt, new ideas and ways of thinking are introduced and people develop in ways they had not anticipated by enhancing their existing skills and abilities.
- Patience, respect and tolerance are important traits that are often developed from working in a team. Not everyone works in the same way or has the same learning style. Trust is an important part of teamwork and as such team members have to learn to appreciate and tolerate each other’s personalities, idiosyncracies and perhaps be more understanding than they would be in less intensive co-working environments.
Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples in crisis to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.
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