Does your team run like a well oiled machine? When the oil pressure in your car is low, a warning light flashes and a buzzer sounds, which warns you stop the engine immediately-or risk severely damaging your engine. Just as oil keeps an engine running, trust between team members is critical to create synergy, improve collaboration, and increase productivity.
3 vitals characteristics to foster trust and create synergy
Dependability – This morning after arriving at a local restaurant for a meeting, I sat down on a chair. I trusted inherently that the chair would hold me up when I sat down. There was never a question in my mind that the chair would do its job. Why? My past experience told me that these chairs and others chairs like it are dependable. They hadn’t ever let me down. When I concluded that the chair was dependable, my trust in it, to fulfill its role, increased. Can the same be said of us? Can others depend on us consistently to follow through on what we promise? Do we show up on time? Trust between people is built when we back up our words with consistent action.
Transparency – What you see is what you get, there are no hidden agendas or secrets. There are people who may be professionally competent, but personally suspect. Secrets overshadow their life. They cloud their ability to bond completely with other team members. If we always have something to hide, we can never be fully present with team members around us. Combine professional competence and transparency, you get a trusted team member that cares for others on the team.
Likeablilty – Let’s be honest, when we like the people with whom we work, we are more productive. A few weeks ago, we interviewed potential candidates for a job opening in my workplace. The decision came down to two people, both with similar work experience and skill levels. In the end, we simply liked one of the candidates more than the other. Likeability was a factor in adding her to our team. Her skill level gave us the confidence that we could entrust the work to her, but her likeability indicated to us that can actually work with her as a team member. In his book, The Likeability Factor, Tim Sanders writes, “Likeable people inspire others to give more,” and “engage more deeply in conversations around projects and tasks, and people pay more attention to them…eliminating misunderstandings. Misunderstandings can be the heart of unproductive activity at work.” Taking time to have lunch regularly as a team and spending time together outside the workplace increases the likeabilty
factor and thereby trust between team members.