Building Trust at the Core of Your Company
This article was originally published in Spanish on Entrepreneur.com. Read the original version HERE.
Companies require a high degree of trust among their members to operate efficiently and overcome inevitable challenges. But, how trust is built within teams?
If you consider yourself a leader or manage a team, you already know how crucial it is to build a foundation of trust. Trust is the pillar that enables effective collaboration and acts as the glue that makes teams more than the sum of their parts. A team in which everyone trusts each other is characterized by a high level of cooperation and collaboration, as well as mutual respect.
Stephen M.R. Covey, in his book “The Speed of Trust,” argues that trust is not just a social factor in business but an economic asset. According to Covey, as trust increases, a company’s operational speed also increases, and costs decrease.
On the other hand, Patrick Lencioni, in “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” identifies the absence of trust as the primary dysfunction. He argues that teams without trust fear being vulnerable with each other, hindering the building of strong relationships.
“It is necessary to create psychological safety through emotional intelligence, to create integration and collaboration spaces through team building. Thanks to these activities, you can observe the connections that are formed in these activities and that subsequently have an impact on the day-to-day lives of team members, leading to greater collaboration and results.” – Diane Garza, CEO of iCatalyze.
That’s why, Diane proposes the following steps to Build Trust in your company:
- Vulnerability and Openness: Foster an environment where members feel safe sharing their weaknesses, mistakes, and fears. This shared vulnerability is the cornerstone of trust.
- Clear and Open Communication: Startups are constantly evolving, and information changes rapidly. Share relevant information with the team, keeping them on the same page.
- Shared Values: Establish the startup’s values from the beginning and ensure that all members understand and embrace them.
- Celebrate Successes: Recognize and celebrate victories, no matter how small they may be. This reinforces the idea that everyone is in the same boat.
- Create tools like team building: These activities not only provide a break from the daily work pace but also serve as a social laboratory where members can interact in a more relaxed environment. This setting allows people to be themselves, breaking down hierarchical barriers and promoting open communication.
Dropbox, the well-known cloud storage platform, faced the challenge of building trust among a diverse and geographically distributed team during its early days. To overcome this, the founders and leaders adopted a policy of radical transparency, even sharing financial details with the entire team. This openness not only built trust but also aligned everyone toward a shared vision, turning Dropbox into the giant it is today.
Building trust in a company is not an easy task, though considering the wisdom of experts and learning from success stories, you can establish a solid foundation for your growing business.