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About Maureen

Maureen is a dynamic change leader with a unique blend of expertise in strategic planning, human resources, technology, process improvement and change. Maureen has over 20 years of corporate experience with Honeywell, AlliedSignal and Prudential, successfully leading large scale business change.

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Building an Atmosphere of Trust

  
  
  
  

Like many of the best things in life, trust really is free. Doing without it, however, will cost you dearly, especially in business. What’s at stake is productivity, innovation, and ultimately, profits.

High functioning teams share goals that drive day-to-day activities. Their mutual self-interest greases the wheels of collaboration, but trust is the solid ground they ride on. Capitalizing on their energy and motivation so your team is productive requires that they collaborate freely, and for that, people need to trust each other.

Trust is based on a history of honest relationships. Do people at your company talk directly to a person when they have an issue with them or just complain about that person to someone else? Teams are subtly strengthened or gradually divided by the way simple, everyday differences are communicated.

Unified teams have integrity, demonstrating honesty through actions. Having integrity means that what an individual says and what they actually do are consistent with each other. Can your team count on one another to do what they say they will do?

Teams that operate in the absence of trust are guarded, and by necessity more cautious about everything they say and do. Communication becomes a way to defend and protect oneself, avoiding risk rather than reaching for results. The consequence for your business is more of the status quo, instead of the collaborative risk-taking that exemplifies off-the-charts growth.

Harnessing their inspiration and creativity depends on employees being able to trust each other and their managers. Groups innovate when they are comfortable sharing ideas, exploring “What if…?” and can rely on each other to keep the process moving. They need to feel safe discussing “what’s not working” in the context of exploring ways to make it better. If ideas are often met with cynicism and viewed as a waste of time (“Don’t bother, it’ll never be considered”), you may be missing out on great contributions.  Are individuals viewed with respect for taking the initiative to pitch ideas, regardless of the outcome?

The answers to these questions are a good indicator of whether your company is already recognized as a creative industry leader or one that follows trends set by more innovative competitors. When trust levels are high, so is the potential that the talented people you’ve hired will coalesce to become a powerful team.

We work with our clients at many different levels to build an atmosphere of trust in their organization. Crucial interpersonal skills such as personal accountability and effective communication are essential, as well as understanding team norms, behavior styles and motivators.  Contact us for more information. 

This post written by our colleagues at TTI

Comments

Maureen: 
 
 
 
Nice write up.  
 
 
 
The two sentences that grabbed me: 
 
"Trust is based on a history of honest relationships. Do people at your company talk directly to a person when they have an issue with them or just complain about that person to someone else?" 
 
 
 
The complaining about opposed to speaking directly is so often a hallmark amongst large corporate settings.  
 
 
 
Any recommendations on how to change according the principles outlined in "Switch: Don't Solve Problems--Copy Success"?
Posted @ Monday, August 09, 2010 10:26 AM by AnnaMarie DelCasale
Thanks for sharing your insights AnnaMarie. In Switch, the Heath brothers find and recommend that leaders don't try to problem solve the past or search for transformative, grand solutions. Find what is working well in spots...and CLONE the practice. It is counterintuitive but powerful. What do the most successful sales people in your organization do differently? How can you teach those simple practices to others? Call me if you want to talk more about this fascinating topic!
Posted @ Friday, October 01, 2010 6:57 AM by Maureen Ennis
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