Leaders: here’s how to build team trust

May 21, 2021
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

This week’s Daily Tips can all have positive short-term impacts on team trust, but they must be accompanied by regular follow-up in the course of daily work. Each individual teammate’s development areas must be revised to ensure progress. This is the responsibility of the team’s leader.

In The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni tells us, “The most important action that a leader can take to encourage the building of trust is to demonstrate vulnerability first.”

This requires the leader be strong enough to risk losing face in front of the team, so everyone else will take the same risk themselves.

Leaders, take note! If your displays of vulnerability are seen as insincere, you’ll be viewed as manipulative -- one of the best ways to lose team trust.

Even well-intentioned teams can subtly discourage trust by chastising each other for admissions of weakness or failure.

If leaders can create an environment that does not punish vulnerability, teams will continue growing the trust they have in each other, allowing the group to focus energy on the tasks at hand rather than politics, in-fighting, and subterfuge.


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