Teamwork takes trust

What can you do if your co-workers aren’t working together as a team? You don’t have to throw in the towel.

According to Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” the absence of trust is the root of a lack of teamwork. You know you have trust when people engage in unfiltered conflict when discussing ideas. They admit weaknesses and ask for help. Dysfunctional team members conceal their weaknesses from one another and hesitate to ask for help.

It’s not a weakness to admit you don’t know everything and to ask for help. It takes courage to do so, and you display strength by admitting this. Any competent supervisor will appreciate your honesty and dedication to getting the job done correctly. If your supervisor isn’t competent, he or she may be afraid to show weakness. Showing your strength in this instance could be your chance to shine.

One of my former business professors, Dr. Jeff Myers, says that thought precedes communication. Try to think of one area you can improve upon and find a non-threatening way to mention this to a co-worker you think you can work well with. Use this as an opportunity to build a good working relationship with this person. If he or she shares a weakness with you, great. You’ve made a start at building a cohesive team that can communicate effectively. If this co-worker doesn’t reciprocate by opening up to you, then he or she isn’t going to be a reliable teammate anytime soon.


About Jason Reynolds
I'm a reporter, blogger, husband and aspiring author. When I'm not working, spending time with the family, or reading (which is quite a bit), I enjoy cooking, traveling, photography and wrangling my family's cats and chickens.

One Response to Teamwork takes trust

  1. Hi Jason,
    Open honest communication (even with differing opinions) *is one sign of trust on teams. Yet it is very important to build that trust before jumping into “unfiltered conflict”.

    Some feel that the best way to build trust on teams is to engage in brutal honesty. Very risky in the early days. Before the trust is there, this level of candor can build walls that take a long time to break down. First BUILD TRUST before you rely on its phenomenal strength. Lean on it before it’s there and it leaves scars. The posts below offer tangible steps to building trust.

    Here are two posts that expand this:

    Strengthen the team with respect and build trust to deliver great results.

    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

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