By Jennifer Zammuto, Heart of Illinois United Way
Building trust is key to successful teamwork in the workplace and in the community.
The building blocks of successful teams start with a strong foundation of trust. From CEOs to coaches, from business leaders to teachers, we have all worked on teams that are not as cohesive or successful as we knew they could be. And, if you are lucky enough to have been part of a team that is highly successful, what was the difference? Trust.
Trust Involves Letting Go
Any great coach will tell you that trust is not a one-way street. Not only do the players need to trust the coach, but the coach must trust the players—and the players must trust each other—in order for the team to win.
It is easy to talk about but much more difficult to do, especially if you have been burned before. Trust involves letting go of control a little, and it requires leaders to have the courage to address challenges as they happen. This is not something that can happen overnight, but it can happen immediately in small ways. Trust is earned when actions match words.
The same dynamic takes place within our workplaces. Good leaders do not micro-manage—they trust their people to do their work; they share information and are not afraid to admit when something is not working. Over the past year, our trust in one another has been put to the test in schools and workplaces. Improving trust starts with communicating and understanding your team, where they are coming from, and who they are.