Another way to build team trust

May 20, 2021
Photo by fauxels from Pexels

All this week, we have been discussing trust as a foundation for teamwork. Yesterday, we learned an easy exercise to begin building team trust. But building trust can only happen over time, so here is a more advanced trust-building exercise to do with your team.

This exercise requires a bit more time and risk, and may seem intrusive or dangerous at first glance, but that’s also why it works so well.

Articulate contributions

Simply ask teammates to identify the single most important contribution that each of their peers makes to the team, as well as one area they must either improve on or eliminate for the good of the team.

Have everyone write their thoughts on paper, then go around the group sharing everyone’s responses, beginning with the leader.

It’s remarkable how manageable and useful even just one hour of this can be.

While it does require some degree of trust, just a little is enough to build on if you create the space for people to be honest and vulnerable with each other.

Keeping the focus on the good of the team, rather than personal attacks or airing out grievances, can help even a dysfunctional team make progress with surprisingly little tension.


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