It is common for individuals in a business not to trust each other. That lack of trust causes teammates to be less open and honest and more guarded in their interaction with each other. As Patrick Lencioni details in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, low trust ultimately leads to poor results, so building a high trust team must be a priority for any business.
One of our free downloadable tools, The Trust Builders, provides 10 ways to help increase trust in your team. Each Trust Builder helps teammates to open up to and have a deeper understanding of each other, ultimately leading to higher trust. However, in the process of getting to know each other better, if teammates become aware of any of these three characteristics in a teammate, trust will be destroyed.
Trust Destroyer #1. You don’t follow through on your commitments to the team. You habitually say you are going to do something and don’t do it. Teammates won’t trust someone they can’t depend on.
Trust Destroyer #2. Hurtful words. I was in a session with a leadership team and one of the leaders verbalized a caustic, ridiculing remark about what one of the other leaders was wearing. It got very uncomfortable in the room and I could tell from the look on the face of the leader who bore the brunt of the joke that he was deeply offended. It will take a lot to rebuild the trust that was destroyed by that one statement.
Trust Destroyer #3. Selfish conduct. When teammates see that you repeatedly act to promote your own self-interests as opposed to advancing the greater good of the team, there can be no trust. Teammates will be naturally guarded around you.
If you want to become your best as a company, teammates that regularly violate trust must be removed from your team as quickly as possible. Trust is earned by not violating trust with any of the Trust Destroyers. Said more positively, as each team member consistently follows through on their commitments, speaks constructive, edifying words and acts for the greater good, trust will deepen and your team will consistently achieve better results.