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How to*

Improving Trust

We all intuitively understand trust, learned in our families. The team leader starts by trusting. In my research and with those I taught for 13 years, trust came up again and again. Here is an compilation of what I heard from very successful people.

Team members share new ideas with one another, share their competence. The team leader makes that an explicit goal and the planning techniques encourage sharing.

The key building blocks for trust are based on keeping the planning process simple.

Keep Commitments – Proven Performance

  • Team members make their commitments visible to the team.
  • Team members keep commitments to prepare for the meeting (and conversely to not demand too much preparation)
  • Team members keep promises even if circumstances have changed.
  • Team members inform others well in advance if they will be late with any deliverables.

Consistency - Openness

  • Team members encourage openness behaviors at meetings – put your detective hat on!
  • Team members use techniques to "flow chart" — to draw a picture. They visualize what is going on now (current state).
  • Even if the task is very simple, take time to draw it out.

Integrity - Fairness

  • Team members do the right thing—what is in the best interest firm.
  • Team members are able to say, “I don’t agree” with each other or with management.
  • Team members continue to do the right thing, even in a fix it now, respond to a customer crisis or put out a “Monday morning fire.”
  • Team members openly discuss, when appropriate, convictions and values with other team members and with management.


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