It’s one thing to get teams working together effectively towards a common goal, but it’s an entirely different matter for individuals to develop trust for one another. In times of stress, such as the state of the economy and company lay-off’s happening daily, it’s become a “dog eat dog” world out there for many business and sales pros. While there may be smiles and joking at staff meetings, behind the scenes team members may be seething with mistrust and resentment of each other.
This game goes on in even the most well-managed teams, and can go unnoticed until a project deadline is missed or someone gets into a conflict with another team member. However, this mistrust leads to issues that go way beyond the normal competitive nature that many sales pros have. It can become a source of contention that takes the focus off company objectives like customer care, individual and team growth.
If you want to prevent mistrust from breaking down your teams into quibbling groups of children, here are some tips for developing trust and better working relationships for all your staff.
- Encourage communication. Mystery can add to suspicion, which can easily add to a general feeling of mistrust among team members. That’s why it’s absolutely critical for you to encourage open communication at all times with your teams. Take the time to meet for a weekly staff meeting, to go over updates on current projects, talk about any concerns and answer questions. Direct this meeting so that no one person overshadows another person or takes up too much time. Maintain an internal communication system, such as email or live chatting, to keep team members talking with one another at all times.
- Hold everyone accountable. Part of developing effective teams is not letting a single team member become “slack”, a situation that can quickly fuel the fire for resentment and mistrust. Make sure all team members understand how critical their contribution is to the overall success of the team, and then create a system for tracking this accountability. Whether you ask for weekly sales reports, or daily updates on efforts, make sure this applies to all team members and be consistent.
- Value each individual’s skills. Mistrust often develops when some team members no longer feel valued or appreciated on the job for a variety of reasons. People who are taken for granted very often start to develop ill-will towards other team members who are perceived as being favorites by management. To nip this in the bud, take the time to verbally express often how important everyone is to the team success overall, and focus on one person’s unique talents in each week’s staff meeting. Do this on an individual basis as well.
- Do non-work related activities. Building teams takes more than just a pat on the back once in a while for a job well done. Instead, it takes developing trust and respect among team members. One great way to break up tension, and develop trust between team members is to schedule regular activities that are non-work related. Examples may be company team building activities, team lunches, and fun games to bring out the lighter side of people. When people learn to relate outside of work, they often get along better at work.
Learn more about engaging your teams through trust building initiatives when you download Dale Carnegie’s free report today! CLICK HERE FOR A FREE REPORT