To win your transition, start with trust

Without trust, your transition will struggle. It may even fail.

Oh, wonderful (rolls eyes). Another vague article about trust, right?

Wrong. This is not about the theory of trust, how it’s defined in a dictionary, or an ode to inter-office campfire songs. It’s about the truth as it relates to business: Organizations that build and grow trust make decisions faster, have more effective meetings and succeed far more than ones that don’t.

When we talk about trust, it’s not in the context of, “I trust you to give me the correct change if I give you money to pick up lunch,” or “I trust you to safely drive my child home from baseball practice.” We are talking about the type of trust that empowers us as individuals and co-workers to disagree, debate, pound fists onto a conference table and make decisions that some people may not agree with — then walk out of the meeting and have lunch together with no hard feelings.

This trust is based on vulnerability. If I trust you enough to be vulnerable in front of you (share personal information, surrender my ego, appear as my real self), then I am comfortable asking you for help, admitting when I don’t know something and owning up to mistakes. When you return the favor, we can focus squarely on the issues to solve and opportunities to pursue in the best interest of the organization.

If I don’t trust my fellow teammates, things become about me. I will instinctively look out for myself, lobby to get my way and prioritize my ego over what’s best for the team. In fact, I’ll likely assume that others are out to get me.

Think about it. What’s the more productive approach during a transition? Carry on “business as usual,” letting employees figure things out via rumors and the occasional email? Or is it being intentional about building a foundation of trust so that rumors stop, issues are solved and work gets done?

Great teams establish a culture of trust and never stop growing that skill. Simple ways to build trust within your team include:

  • Getting to know people beyond their job titles. Ask everyone one or two personal questions at the beginning of each meeting. Find out what’s important to them and figure out where common ground exists.
  • Sharing the “why” along with the “what” in every message communicated to your people
  • Requiring disagreement and debate at meetings. Without conflict, your meetings will lack passion, diversity of thought and productive decisions. However, any politicking must be called out.
  • Requiring constructive criticism of each other at meetings
  • Building a living list of issues that need to be solved during the transition
  • Reading and discussing “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” by Patrick Lencioni

To be vulnerable is to display your humanity, not surrender it. And suddenly, during a time of major change in an organization, we see each other as people on the same team working together to thrive, instead of as co-workers that we would gladly step on to protect our own individual interests. To win with a transition, start with trust.

If your team is in transition, take control of it by calling CultureShoc today at 844.336.SHOC or send us a message.